So What’s this Interim Ministry All About?

September 10, 2020

So What’s this Interim Ministry All About? In one sentence, during the interim ministry period the congregation and the minister collaborate to prepare the congregation for a settled ministry.

So, what is settled ministry? Short answer -- A settled ministry begins after the congregation “calls” (votes for) a minister to serve its members. Over the past 10 year or so, UUCBV has not had a “called” minister. The various boards have hired our minister, whether it be a transition, a developmental, a contract, or an interim minister.

So what is a “called” or “settled” minister? One with whom the congregation has voted to engage in shared ministry. The vote for a called or settled minister comes after an extensive process of congregational input and search for the “right” minister. And the extensive search process begins after a one- or two-year discernment process in which the congregation asks and answers powerful questions about ourselves. The congregation is beginning this first year of this discernment with Rev. Christian Schmidt.

So, what will this discernment entail? As a congregation, with guidance from the Board and the minister and resources from the UUA, we will collaborate on the following:

Five tasks of interim ministry:

  1. Coming to Terms with our History

  2. Discovering a New Identity

  3. Identifying Possible Shifts of Power/Leadership Changes

  4. Rethinking Denominational Linkages

  5. Commitment to New Professional Leadership and to a New Future

To carry out these tasks, we will reflect on several questions:

  1. Who have we been?

  2. Who are we now?

  3. How do we operate?

  4. Who are our partners?

  5. Who will we be?

Simultaneously, we will work on the goals as identified during the Start-up Session on August 29 with Rev. Christian, that will intertwine the above tasks and questions to prepare our congregation for settled ministry.

  1. Discerning what it means to be a church by reaffirming or re-creating our covenant, vision, and mission

  2. Identifying a governance structure that will provide flexibility and strengthen relationships between Minister, lay leadership, and members in the context of soulful ministry.

  3. Practicing Shared Ministry, including Faith Development, Membership paths, Leadership development, specifically.

  4. Continuing the new building construction project, including the identification of additional financial resources

  5. Completing the settled ministry search process

Whew! Yes, this is a lot of work -- which is added to the “normal” tasks of the congregation, the board, and the minister. I have no doubt that we will all work together and make good strides in these areas to prepare ourselves for a successful settled ministry.

Join us at the Town Meeting on October 4, and at future events, to learn more and to see how YOU can be a part of this exciting adventure. We are in this together!

Gaye Webb, President

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

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Meet Our Minister

The Rev. Christian Schmidt is our interim minister, and first became a Unitarian Universalist in this congregation where he was an active member from 2006-2009. He has since served congregations in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and California. His interests include his family (including four little boys he and his wife are raising), sports, and theology.