At the September 28, 2021 Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting, the BOT voted unanimously to make Pastor Kiya Heartwood our Full-Time Contract Minister starting October 1, 2021.
Originally, the Board hired Pastor Kiya as a 1/2-time minister (performing two of four services/month) with the option of increasing to full-time Contract Minister in January 2022. This was to give us enough time to see if we felt that Kiya was a good match for us and whether she thought we were a good match for her. We soon came to realize, however, that despite the contract, Pastor Kiya was working ‘full-time’ even before her August 1st, 2021 start.
... there were many elements that needed to be addressed in July.
I went ahead and jumped in to help the congregation and get up to speed,
Even before August 1st, Pastor Kiya met with the Board, attended a Worship Committee meeting, and attended Coffee Hour to meet the congregation. She helped us locate contract templates for Allison Faber’s position as Director of RE, Membership and Outreach since the UUA did not have any. Once Allison was hired, Pastor Kiya started meeting weekly with her and had several tech meetings with John Faber. She proactively signed up the Brazos UU for the “Side with Love Organizer” training that would include seven of us on one team.
In August, when the Board decided to use the BV African American Museum (BVAAM) as our in-person site, she drove up to Bryan to with meet me and my husband, visited Wayne Sadberry, curator for the BVAAM, checked out the museum for church services and canvassed Bryan and the new church site. She met with Natalie Briscoe in Austin to discuss the upcoming board retreat after trouble shooting with me. After the retreat, she assisted the Board in organizing ourselves under a liaison governance plan, discussed what shared ministry really means, and assisted us in reorganizing our committees to mirror that. She even walked and attended the Poor People’s Campaign Voting Rights Event as a UUCBV representative in Austin.
In August, Pastor Kiya met with me regularly as Board President, attended all board meetings, set up weekly meetings with Allison Faber (DRE & M/O), met with staff and contractors individually and at staff meetings, met with the Treasurer multiple times, met with Committee Chairs, and attended and contributed to the Worship Committee, MSJE, and Communications Team meetings. Not only did she provide tow services per month, she contributed greatly to the lay-led services. She began calling church members to talk with them, contacting 4-5 members per week, and provided pastoral care to two congregants, while completing the lengthy paperwork required for employment.
In September, Pastor Kiya continued her weekly meetings with staff and contractors, discussed with me issues in preparation for board meetings, and continued to attend and contribute to committee meetings, weekly church services and board meetings. She and Allison represented the UUCBV at the Rainbow Pride Fair at TAMU and spoke with many participants. John Faber took the month of September off, so Pastor Kiya performed much of the video duties for four Sunday services. Due to this time-consuming task, her calls to congregants decreased slightly, but will pick up as previously in October.
I think the Board all agrees that many positive, forward thinking changes have occurred within the Board and in the committee structure at our church due to Pastor Kiya. And, the Board feels that Pastor Kiya is a good fit for our church. So, with the way she works and the way we feel, the BOT voted to promote Pastor Kiya early to full-time Contract Minister starting October 1, 2021 and for the remainder of the church fiscal year.
Congratulations, Pastor Kiya!