President’s Message – May 2015

As we move into May, I note some of the lovely events that have taken place as part of our farewell to Rev. Charlie Ortman. We had a terrific time at the Fish Fry and Coffeehouse on March 29th and Charlie was touched (and amused) by our surprise dress-up on Easter Sunday. If you missed the Coffee Hour “StoryCorps” opportunity to record a 30-second farewell message to Charlie, you can use your Smartphone or other device to record your message, and share it with us by May 15th to be edited into the final version. Contact Jason Brome at for info on how to submit your message.

Our Interim Search Committee (ISC) put together a terrific application and on May 4 or 5, the UUA will provide us with the names of interested Interim Minister candidates. The ISC will conduct interviews, report to the Board of Trustees and an offer will likely be made by May 15.  Although we anticipate hiring an Interim Minister from the first round of interviews, if the May 15 deadline does not result in a match, we would enter Rounds Two or Three, and conclude the search by early June.  To learn more about the selection process, the UUA’s Transitional Ministry Handbook is a good resource, available on-line at

On April 26th, Harvest the Power graduated its fifth class. We now have 50 members who have emerged from HTP with a powerful mandate to help lead us with love, thoughtfulness and focused energy.  The graduation ceremony was a moving event which left everyone with the knowledge that HTP will prove to be an invaluable resource for the Congregation as we move into our transitional period.  Thanks to Rev. Judy Tomlinson and all of the HTP facilitators for continuing to grow this program.

On May 17th, we will hold our Annual Congregational Meeting. Among other business, we will be voting on a slate of candidates for the Board of Trustees, our 2015-16 budget, and for members of the Ministerial Transition Team who will work closely with our Interim Minister. I thank the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee, led by outgoing Chair Steven Mintz, for its work this year in identifying and developing leaders for us.

If you have any questions about the work of the Board, or anything you want to bring to our attention, please contact me at (973) 803-9274 or

Michael Mernin
President, Board of Trustees