The Search Process

You know the people on the slate to be voted on to form our Search Committee, but what is their job and what is the process?

The Search Committee is charged with finding the best candidate to serve our congregation as a called minister. The following is a description of the work they will do to accomplish this:

  • Earn and maintain the trust of the congregation
  • Engage the congregation in the search process
  • Represent our congregation when dealing with ministerial candidate

The congregation will be following the UUA defined search process. This is what it is likely to look like at UUCC:

May 31, 2020

Annual Meeting – The slate of eleven Search Committee candidates will be presented to the members of the congregation for a vote. The four candidates receiving the most votes will be elected to the committee. The board will meet to appoint three additional Search Committee members from the slate, with the goal of establishing a Search Committee that accurately represents the entire congregation. The board will announce the Search Committee after that meeting. The fact of a person being elected or appointed will remain confidential with the board.

June 7, 2020

Commissioning of Search Committee during Sunday Service

June, 2020

Search Committee Retreat with UUA Transitions Coach, Christine Purcell (likely via Zoom over several weeks)

July – September, 2020

Congregational Survey – The Search Committee will design and roll out a survey of the congregation to determine demographics, involvement, spiritual leanings, ministerial preferences, and more. This is critical in helping the Search Committee determine the congregation’s needs and desires, and to have information about our congregation to provide to candidates.

August – October 2020

Cottage Meetings (open groups of congregants) & Focus Groups (targeted groups) – The Search Committee will meet with individuals and small groups to talk through what the congregation needs and desires from a called Minister.

September – October, 2020

Beyond Categorical Thinking Workshop for Congregation – an anti-oppression program designed to help congregations in search. This is a weekend program facilitated by UUA trainers.

Early November, 2020

Congregational Record – Based on input from the Congregational Survey, cottage meetings and focus groups, the Search Committee will create a UUA-defined record of our congregation. This will be provided to ministerial candidates and needs to accurately describe our congregation.

Mid November, 2020

Internal Candidate Decision – This is the point at which the search process differs in congregations with an internal candidate. Should Rev. Joe or another internal person choose to be considered as a candidate for our called Minister, the Search Committee will evaluate that person to determine if they match the requirements the congregation has articulated.

Early December, 2020

Internal Candidate Candidating Week – if the Search Committee decides to make an internal candidate the person they wish to present to the congregation, there will be a candidating week in early December. This will involve the candidate meeting with existing and ad hoc committees and groups during the week. On the final Sunday of candidating week the candidate will lead the worship service, which will be followed by a congregational meeting where a vote on the candidate will be held. For a Minister to be formally called, the Code of Regulations stipulates an affirmative vote of at least three-fourths of the Members voting.

If the congregational vote does not meet the requirements of the call, the Search Committee will be disbanded, and the search will be suspended until a new Search Committee can be established.


The process will be continue if the Search Committee decides not to present an internal candidate to the congregation. This part of the process is highly confidential – it’s the point at which we (congregation, leadership, staff) won’t hear much from the Search Committee until they are ready to present a candidate to the congregation.

Approx. Jan 4, 2021

List of Applicants who meet our requirements are provided by the UUA transitions office. This will include the Ministerial Record of each applicant.

Late January, 2021

Initial interviews with applicants – The Search Committee will hold initial interviews with selected applicants via video or conference call.

Feb – March, 2021

Pre-Candidating is the second set of interviews. The Search Committee will interview up to three applicants, each on a different weekend. The weekends will include a substantial interview on Saturday, visiting a “neutral” congregation where the applicant is preaching on Sunday, followed by a final conversation/interview after the service.

Late April- Early May, 2021

Candidating Week – When the Search Committee has decided on their final candidate and that person accepts, the ministerial candidate will come to UUCC for a Candidating Week. This is the week where the congregation and ministerial candidate get to know each other. The week runs from Sunday to Sunday. The candidate will lead worship both Sundays,with formal and informal opportunities for the congregation to get to know the candidate during the week between. Following the Worship Service on the second Sunday, there will be a congregational meeting and vote on the candidate. Again, the Code of Regulations stipulates an affirmative vote of at least three-fourths of the members voting, though most candidates won’t accept a call at less than 90 or 95%.