Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cleveland
February 16, 2020

Where we are

In the year since our reunification, everyone in the Congregation has been thinking about our future and many of us have been actively involved in planning and preparing for it. One of the issues identified by both pre-merger Congregations as well as our current Strategic Planning team is addressing the ministerial path forward.

This is a much bigger question than “who will be our minister?” Our Congregation must discern what we want and need from a minister. Rev Joe Cherry’s current contract runs through June of this year. The Board has indicated to him that it intends to extend his contract through June 2021 as discussed in the contract he signed at reunification. As grateful as we are for Rev Joe’s service and leadership, the Board realizes that it cannot indefinitely renew his contract on an annual basis. The ultimate decision about UUCC’s form of ministry must lie with the members of the Congregation.

The Board’s decision

In its January meeting, the Board of Trustees voted to initiate a search process at UUCC to address our ministerial path forward. This will be a period of discernment by the Congregation about our current and anticipated future ministerial needs. The UUA has a defined process that we will follow, as required by our Code of Regulations. Some of you may be familiar with the search process but it will be new or different for many of you.

The members of the Board want to be very clear about two things. First, the Board’s decision to initiate the search process and enter into discernment on the ministerial path forward does not reflect on Rev Joe. Second, entering into this discernment centers decision-making where it belongs: with the Congregation.

Next steps

The Board will be leading efforts to prepare the Congregation for the search process, including providing opportunities for education and discussion, working through financial issues, and coordinating with the Leadership Development Committee (AKA the LDC). The LDC is charged with nominating the Search Committee, as required by our Code of Regulations.  They will ask for input from the Congregation over the next two months and present a Search Committee slate to be voted on by the Congregation at the UUCC Annual Meeting on May 31.

This is another step in the odyssey that we started a year ago and it will be unfamiliar territory for most of us. The Board and LDC have started exploring the UUA process and how it will work in our Congregation. We will be providing ongoing opportunities for you to provide input, ask questions, and be engaged in the process. Thank you in advance for helping to move UUCC into the future.

Following the service, members of the Board of Trustees were available during Coffee Hour to answer questions. The Board had available copies of a document called “Search-Ministerial Path Forward Q&A.” You can also access that document online by clicking here.

More information will be posted to the UUCC website and included in the monthly newsletter and weekly eBlasts.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact a member of the Board of Trustees listed below.

UUCC Board of Trustees
Erika Brown, Steve Doell, Carol Gay, Bob Horan, Wayne Jennings, Tom McKenna, Shane Millette, Susan Paterson, Jennifer Pierce, Tadd Pinkston, Mary Schatzman, Nancy King-Smith, Melissa Vandergriff, Cat White

Ministerial Search FAQs