We are seeking an engaging, inspiring, and collaborative minister who can help us continue to grow and fulfill our congregational mission of seeking meaning, celebrating life, and serving the spirit of love and justice in our world. Through a congregational survey, meetings with congregational leaders, and conversations in focus groups, we have identified the following focus areas and desired qualities for our new minister. Informing all these areas is our understanding that we are hiring a whole person, not just a collection of experiences and talents. Our congregation is informal, welcoming, and enthusiastic. We are seeking a minister who embraces our congregational culture and is warm, compassionate, open-hearted, and approachable. We look forward to welcoming a spiritual leader who is self-aware, authentic, open to giving and receiving feedback, and willing to learn and grow with us.
Respect for Who and Where We Are. As a congregation in transition, growing rapidly from pastoral to program size, we are seeking a minister who is eager to learn about our history, culture, and strengths and is enthusiastic about joining in partnership with all the ministries of our congregation as we work toward fulfilling our mission.
High-Quality Worship and Religious Exploration. Meaningful worship experiences and spiritual exploration for people of all ages are high priorities for our congregation. We are seeking a minister who has theological and intellectual depth and a personal spiritual path, who can deliver engaging and inspiring sermons that speak to both the minds and hearts of a congregation with diverse beliefs, and who can help guide our programs of religious exploration for children, youth, and adults.
Collaboration with Lay Leadership. We are a congregation with a long history of empowered lay leadership. We are looking for a minister who is a collaborator, committed to trust building, distributed leadership and empowerment of others. We are seeking a leader who is a good listener and a good communicator, and who is skilled at responding to disagreements, uncertainties and opposing views in a loving and productive way.
Governance and Supervision. As a congregation transitioning from pastoral to program size and moving toward governance by policy, we are seeking a minister who can both share wisdom and learn with us. We anticipate that our new minister will work collaboratively with our board and serve as chief of staff, developing and empowering a strong team of staff members.
Pastoral Care: We seek a minister who can provide leadership in pastoral care, helping us develop a lay pastoral ministry and deepen our caring spirit.
Community and Congregational Outreach: We are seeking a minister who will build strong relationships both within our church and in the Bend and Central Oregon communities, participating in interfaith conversations, representing our social justice commitments, and actively participating in the life of our community. We welcome the connections to regional and national UU resources that our minister will offer.
Planning for the Future: With a spacious new church facility, a rapidly growing congregation, and increasing visibility in the community, we are re-envisioning who we are and the work we can do for the greater good. We are seeking a creative, visionary thinker who can help us imagine and realize this exciting future.
We are aware that no single person, however talented or energetic, can do deep work in all these areas. We are eager to partner with our new settled minister in the spirit of shared ministry, making the best use of both lay and ministerial talents as we chart our course together in the next phase of UUFCO’s journey.
Our congregation participated in a Beyond Categorical Thinking weekend with facilitator Eddy Carroll on November 12 and 13. The Ministerial Search Committee met with Eddy for dinner and conversation on Saturday evening, Eddy delivered a sermon on Sunday morning to a full house, and 45 members and friends participated in a workshop he facilitated on Sunday afternoon. Eddy’s passionate message and skilled facilitation heightened our awareness of the potential for unconscious biases in the ministerial selection process. As a search committee and a congregation, we affirm our commitment to be inclusive in our consideration of ministerial candidates.