If you were at church on May 12, you know that our Transition Coach, Rev. Phil, spoke to us about what UU’s believe. He also discussed how important it is for us as a congregation to figure out what we believe in as we search for our new minister.
Cathy was the lay worship leader that day, and she gave a reflection about her perspective on the search process so far. Here’s what she said:
When I first heard that Brian would be leaving us in August of 2020, I knew immediately that I wanted to be on the Search Team for a new minister — and not just because I’m a control freak. I wanted to be a part of it because it’s something I’ve never done before, and I enjoy new experiences. Plus, the work sounded interesting and meaningful.
What I didn’t appreciate back then was the awesome responsibility that I — we, the whole Search Team — would be undertaking. I didn’t fully understand the immense trust and faith that you, the congregation, would be placing in us, to represent you and to make a decision that we feel will be best for Wildflower.
Now I do. And to be honest, it’s a little overwhelming.
I’m scared. I’m afraid of letting you down.
At the same time, I’m grateful. Grateful for your trust. Grateful for the six other wonderful people on the Search Team. Grateful that the UUA has provided us with a really thorough handbook to help us. Grateful for Rev. Phil’s terrific guidance as we go through this process.
And I’m especially grateful to Brian, for giving us the opportunity for a good ending to his ministry. I don’t think any of us is happy that Brian is leaving next year — I’m certainly not. He has been such a wonderful minister to us these last four years. But the fact that he has given us plenty of notice, and that he is leaving us on good terms, is truly a gift. We have time to process, to grieve, and to move on. We need that, and we’re so fortunate to have it.
Now, we’ve got a lot of work ahead for the next year, and it’s a bit daunting. And I need you to know that we, the team, cannot do this without you. We’re here to represent you, and we can’t do that if you don’t participate. So please — after today’s service, if you haven’t already done so, write the qualities you’d like to have in a new minister on our person outline in the Community Room. And when the time comes, answer the survey questions, and attend the forums. We all have to do our part for the next year to make this process effective and successful.
And yet, having said that, the truth is that, even if we do everything right, we could still come up empty-handed, if the team doesn’t feel that any of the candidates is right for Wildflower. Please remember that, if that happens, it is not failure. The UUA has made very clear that it’s better to find nobody than to hire the wrong person. So if that should happen, don’t lose hope. All it means is that we’ll be lay-led for a year while we enter the search process again, with a new Search Team and new ministerial candidates. Almost every year, this happens to one or two churches in the search process, and if it happens to us, we’ll be fine. Really.
I am so very grateful for your trust and faith in me and this team. We are committed to doing our very best for Wildflower. And, we might be a little stressed at times throughout the next year. So when you see us, please don’t hesitate to offer words of encouragement to us, and maybe even a hug.