Search Committee Updates – Archive

The members of the USR Ministerial Search Committee are top row, left to right: Steve Gregoire, Don Campolo, Mary Byron, Elyse Pleasic (Chair) and bottom row, left to right: Carol Wolf, Sally Lewis, Mike Azzara

Town Hall Meeting – April 9, 2017

The following podcast is a recording of the April 9th USR Town Hall Meeting, during which the Search Committee announced our ministerial candidate, the Rev. Dr. Sarah Lenzi:


To read Rev. Sarah’s profile, please click here.

Candidating Week is scheduled for April 23rd through April 30th, 2017. For details, click here.

April 2, 2017

On behalf of the Ministerial Search Committee, I am delighted to report that our unanimously selected candidate has accepted our offer to candidate for the next USR settled minister. The MSC will host a Town Hall on Sunday, April 9, 2017 to provide the congregation with all the relevant information. At this time, we cannot disclose any details, as the candidate’s current congregation has not been informed yet.

Please mark your calendars, Candidating Week has been set beginning Sunday April 23 and ending on Sunday April 30 with a congregational vote following the service.

Elyse Pleasic, Chair
Ministerial Search Committee

UPDATE: January 2017

Congregants have asked about the Survey results. Click here to review the summary.

Upcoming Tasks:

  • Notify prospective ministers and exchange packets
  • Narrow to three or four candidates
  • Observe pre-candidates in a neutral pulpit
  • Organize Candidating Week

Now it is your turn:

  • Ask yourself, “What is my responsibility in creating a welcoming environment?”
  • Ask your loved ones, “Can we ‘take turns’ receiving what we yearn for and honoring others who have different needs?”
  • Ask your groups or your committees, “How do we best prepare our membership, ourselves, and each other for this change?”

UPDATE: November 2016

A Town Hall Meeting was held on Sunday, November 20th immediately following the service. The Ministerial Search Committee presented to the congregation what we learned from the survey, Cottage Meetings and Beyond Categorical Thinking workshop, and provide an update on next steps in the search process.

A PDF of the presentation is attached here: Town Hall Presentation – Nov. 20, 2016

UPDATE: October 2016

Survey Update:
Over 50% of the members submitted a survey.

Cottage Meetings:
Over 50 members or friends have attended Cottage Meetings.

Stay Tuned:
There will be a report to the Congregation, an overview of survey and Cottage Meeting input.

Next Step:
Beyond Categorical Thinking Workshop Weekend on October 22nd
The Beyond Categorical Thinking program helps UU congregations examine ways that they can be more inclusive in their consideration of ministerial candidates.
Saturday, October 22nd: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (Lunch included.)
Sunday, October 23rd: Beyond Categorical Thinking Service: 10:00 a.m.

UPDATE: September 2016

Survey Update:
In the midst of a hot humid July, preparations for travel, vacation days, alternate routines, 134 surveys
were completed and returned!
Now, in late August, the Search Committee is busy analyzing survey results to determine common
desires for the congregation’s future ministry.

Cottage Meetings:
Surveys have their limitations. Consequently, informal, small group discussions called “Cottage Meetings” will be held to provide the opportunity for each congregant to voice his/her opinions about the future ministry and/or to learn what others envision.

It is important for the Search Committee to hear from all members of the community—the children, the youth, their parents, the singles, widowed, retired, working…new members, as well as those who have been active for many years, are encouraged to take part in the process. Sign-up procedure for Cottage Meetings will be in the September eblasts, and also at the Welcome Table on Sundays.

UPDATE: June 2016
The USR Ministerial Search Committee is currently meeting on a weekly basis to gather information, organize the calendar for the coming year, and set up a process for collecting input from the congregation.

We expect to distribute an extensive congregation-wide survey in early July. Watch for more information about it here on this web page and via the congregation-wide e-blasts.

UPDATE: May 2016
A Message from the USR Ministerial Search Committee

We’d like to thank the congregation and the Board of Trustees for your confidence in us and for your support moving forward. We are all deeply committed to the future success of this Society, and we will work diligently and thoughtfully to find the best minister to fit our congregation’s needs. We’ve already begun meeting, and will be providing updates on our process here on this web page, in the newsletter and via the congregation-wide e-blasts.

The USR Ministerial Search Committee:
Mike Azzara, Mary Byron, Don Campolo, Steve Gregoire, Sally Lewis, Elyse Pleasic (Chair), and Carol Wolf