The Ministerial Search Committee, made up of seven church members including the Rev. Angela Herrera, began work in September 2018. As we did in 2010 when we hired Angela, we will follow UUA procedures. We will make our Congregational Record available to prospective ministers, select and interview candidates, and—working closely with Angela—choose the person with the most to offer our vibrant and growing congregation.
Why are we searching for a second minister?
When we called Angela as our Senior Minister in 2017, it was with the understanding that we would search for a second minister to assist her after she’d had a year to settle in. Dan Lillie was available to stay with us for that year and serve as our second minister until then.
How does the search process work?
The Search Team has created an online profile of First Unitarian for the UUA Minister Search site (our Congregational Record; see below for more detail). Eligible ministers review open positions on that site, looking at churches across the USA. Interested ministers make their Ministerial Records available to us. We will review their applications and then bring a select number of potential ministers to Albuquerque to interview and preach to the search committee. Their identities will be confidential during the process.
This procedure is laid out by the UUA, and is the same process used to select Angela when we searched for a second minister in 2010.
Will there be a congregational vote on the new minister?
No. This will be a hire, not a call. Angela was recently called by a vote of the congregation, and as the Senior Minister and head of staff she reports directly to the Board (and thus to the congregation). The second minister will be hired and will report to Angela.
What’s the timeline for the search process?
- Sept 29, 2018: Search Team Retreat
- Oct – Dec, 2018: Search Team gathers information from congregation
- Nov 30, 2018: Due date for Application for Minister and online Congregational Record
- Dec 2018: Search Team develops rubric for evaluating candidates
- Early Jan 2019: Team gains access to Ministerial Records of candidates
- Mid – Jan 2019: Search Team conducts online interviews and selects 3-5 pre-candidates
- Jan 2019: Contact ministers’ references
- Feb – Mar 2019: Pre-candidating weekends
- Late Mar 2019: Search Team chooses candidate, Negotiating Team makes final agreements
- April 2019: Offer made to candidate and final candidate announced to congregation
- Late April – May 2019: Candidating Week! Candidate meets and preaches for congregation
- Late Summer 2019: Our new second minister joins us
What is the online Congregational Record mentioned in the timeline above?
The online Congregational Record required by the UUA is an extremely in-depth questionnaire – at least 75 questions, most requiring answers at least a paragraph in length – covering the history and culture of our church, our programs and leadership, financials and stewardship, how we live our values, our demographics, our preferences in preaching and music, etc.
Can we look at the online Congregational Record at the UUA Ministry Search site?
No, the site is not public – only three members of the Search Team have access! However, you can access our 2017 internal Congregational Record from the “Who We Are” section of our Resources and Documents webpage. We used this resource to answer most of the questions.
What is a “rubric for evaluating candidates,” mentioned in the timeline above, and how will you develop one?
A rubric is simply a tool used for evaluation (often used in education to grade papers). It is a guide that lists specific criteria – in this case the qualities we want to see in our second minister – and their importance, and will allow us all to stay on the same page as we read through candidates’ ministerial records.
How are you choosing the qualities to look for?
We’ve been listening to the congregation in three main ways:
- Close reading of the 2017 Congregational Report questionnaire and interviews. Over half the congregation participated, as well as our staff, and told us who they are and what direction they want to see First Unitarian move in the future.
- The committee was selected to represent a diverse cross-section of the church with a broad understanding of our membership.
- Direct listening through Town Halls, group meetings, and other input. Please email our chair at firstname.lastname@example.org or put your suggestions in the Search Team suggestion box in the Social Hall. We want to hear from you!
So, what qualities are you looking for in our second minister?
We are open to talent, meaning that we hope to find a candidate who wows us with something we never even realized we wanted.
And we are keenly aware that the congregation is thirsty for a diverse hire. Angela has worked hard to encourage a diverse applicant pool, and diversity is a primary lens we will use as we evaluate candidates.
With those things in mind, this is the list we’re working with so far.
- Capable of developing new programs for our growing community
- Good time management and proven administrative ability
- Interest and ability in supporting inter-generational connections
- Deep thinker who can challenge us intellectually and spiritually
- Strong speaker who can support our high-quality worship services
- Able to guide and nurture a congregation with diverse beliefs
- Passionate about social justice, motivating us to action
- Experienced enough to not need close supervision in first years: ready to step in
- Receptive to input/critique
- Emotionally intelligent, compassionate, warm, community builder
- Generalist who can complement Angela’s strengths and fill unmet needs
The Town Halls and other comments have brought forth more ideas that we will incorporate going forward, including: ability to build teams and empower leaders; skill in outreach to other religious communities and social justice networks; commitment to and experience with religious, cultural, and racial diversity; good listening and communication skills; sense of ritual and sacred space; and many more.
What if we don’t find the right candidate?
There is a second round of this UUA process that we might be able to tap into this year, and occasionally ministers become available to hire throughout the year. However, in the very unlikely scenario that we can’t find a suitable candidate this year, we would probably do this same process next year.
When can we expect the new second minister to join us?
That will depend on final contract negotiations, but most likely in August 2019.
Questions, suggestions, comments?
Email Committee Chair Kristin Satterlee, fill out this feedback form for the Suggestion Box, or find a Search Team member in the Social Hall during coffee hour! We look forward to hearing from you.