Dear Beloved Community,
I write to you today on behalf of the Governing Board. For those of you who were not present for Lynda’s announcement during yesterday’s church service, here is the message she shared:
“My Dear Friends,
After much discernment, I have realized that It is time for me to slow down, and to move closer to my family. So I have made the decision to retire from full time ministry at the end of this church year, which is June 30.
If this sounds rushed, it is, because this has been such a difficult decision for me. I love being your minister, AND, I’m being called to a different stage of life.
Between now and the end of June, we’ll talk more, but for now I just want to say thank you, I love you…You got this!”
With great enthusiasm, we wish to extend our congratulations to Reverend Lynda on her decision to retire and move onto another phase of life, where she will be surrounded by love and togetherness with her family, and we are in full support of her as she crafts this next chapter in her life.
We would also like to express tremendous gratitude for Lynda’s six years of service to First Parish Northboro and the gifts she has shared with us. Her ministerial leadership has seen us through two particularly challenging years during the pandemic and she has worked consistently with the congregation and other UU ministers during that time to help create online spaces and opportunities for us to remain connected and supported.
Members of the Governing Board have been meeting often this past week to discuss our next steps in response to Reverend Lynda’s retirement announcement. This letter serves as the first of many communications with you.
Our goal is to both involve and update you as the process to find an interim minister unfolds.
As we move into the future as a committed and talented congregation, we will build on the successful work our community has already accomplished, and the members of the Governing Board look forward to working with you in the upcoming months!
Please see the list of FAQs below for current information on the interim minister search.
Governing Board President, FPUU Northboro
1. Why did the Board start without us?
The interim search process begins for all ministers on May 2nd and each interim minister is allowed to designate a limited number of congregations of interest from those that are in the system. In addition, there are a higher than expected number of congregations seeking an interim minister this spring and there is a finite minister pool.
We cannot be considered if we are not in the system, so we made the application our first priority. There are many opportunities for your input because we are in this for the long game! We wanted to position our congregation in the best possible way to be sure we had access to the largest possible pool of candidates. This was the strong advice given to us by the UUA and was our collective decision as a board.
2. Where are we in the process?
I spoke last Thursday with Keith Kron, transition specialist at the UUA to get details of the process. The Board has begun reviewing the UUA minister transition handbook. Over several meetings, members of the board completed the online application, including a questionnaire that will give potential members information about our congregation. From there, we are hopeful that several ministers will include us in their list of potential congregations.
As part of the application, we had to designate whether we were seeking a one or two-year interim minister. We have chosen to apply for a two-year interim minister. This was the strong recommendation from the UUA, both in the long term and short term, for two distinct reasons:
- An equitable process of selecting a well-rounded Settled Minister Search Team will take some time. Once that team is established, they will need ample time to work with the congregation to determine our priorities for our next settled minister. This patience and intentionality on the front end will allow us to work together to identify our future direction and locate a settled minister who will be a good fit for our congregation.
- Most candidates are seeking two-year interim ministries and by remaining open to this slightly longer process, we will have access to a larger pool of candidates.
3. What comes next?
Once we have been selected by some potential candidates, we will receive information about each candidate to decide which of them we would like to invite to interview in order to find our “just right” match. This is where we need your help right now.
We want to have the best possible sense of what matters to you when we review applicant information. Please complete this survey if you have not already done so because we want to include your perspective in the selection process: Congregational Survey #1
4. How can I be involved in the search for the interim minister?
The Board is seeking input from all church members and will continue to provide opportunities to submit input into the process. Please complete this initial survey, if you have not already done so: Congregational Survey #1.
Keep an eye out for weekly communications in the Perspective regarding both process updates and invitations to participate in community forums and other opportunities to express questions, concerns, and ideas.
5. How can I be involved in the search for the settled minister?
In the upcoming weeks, we will begin sharing information on the settled minister search process. Stay tuned!
6. How do I get my questions answered?
We are very dedicated to a transparent and inclusive process, and we encourage you to reach out with any questions or ideas you would like to discuss in any of the following ways:
- Contact members of the Governing Board directly (contact information listed below)
- Zoom into “Lunch with Cindy” Mondays at noon using this link: Lunch with Cindy