Sometimes the way is clear, and the burden is light. And then there are times like the present! And, no, this time I’m not talking about the country’s political future! Over the course of this year, as the Search Committee does their work of finding us a new settled minister, and the transition team works with Rev. Osterman on his own ministry with us, the Board has been busy (to borrow a phrase from the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz) “thinking big thoughts.”
Most recently our big thoughts have turned to the dilemma of what to do about the fact that we will, in short order, go from a congregation that is used to having two ministers, to one that has none. As Rev. Judy Tomlinson makes her plans to leave us in June, do we replace her with a new settled Associate Minister? Do we wait for the new settled Senior Minister to get acclimated and then weigh in? Do we decide to trim down to a single minister at this time? If we do, what burden are we placing on that new minister to assume the responsibilities of two highly committed and competent people?
The good news is that whatever happens, it won’t happen by chance. Thanks to Rev. Tomlinson’s advance notice of her retirement plans, and with her own and Rev. Osterman’s guidance, the Board has tapped the counsel of expert advisors from the UUA who have experience with these very issues. Rev. David Pyle, Congregational Life Advisor from the UUA, and Andrea Learner, our UUA Congregational Life Representative, have helped us to identify our challenges and opportunities and suggest a set of options.
We’ll be sorting through this decision for the next few weeks and will let you know as soon as we have decided. In the meantime, you can always reach out to anyone on the board with your thoughts or questions. You can find us at the Board table at Coffee Hour, or reach us via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Secretary, Board of Trustees