Congregational Conversation Part 2
Our Congregational Conversation on January 26 covered a lot of ground. In my previous article, I reported on the discussions around financial news and worship arts. Other topics of discussion concerned our ministers.
As chair of the intern minister committee that supports Ja, Kaz stated they are using UUA guidelines to evaluate her. Kaz reminded us while it’s important we let the committee know how we feel about Ja’s performance, it is also important we express our likes or concerns with Ja directly.
Healthy Ministry Team
Those present were also advised that members of the Board (specifically Carol Alfus, Gale Harris and Whit Sears) are available to facilitate discussions with Sean if a member has a question or concern to discuss with him. It was stressed that anonymous complaints/concerns will not be relayed to Sean or Ja.
When asked about the number of services Sean leads, it was explained that his contractual agreement is for 3 Sundays on, 1 Sunday off, typical for UUA ministers. Some of those weeks off Sean is attending conferences or classes.
A member stated she would like to see Sean “Take some risks” and include more of his own story in his sermons. Kaz said when the ministerial search team was tasked with finding a minister they were told we needed a Minister who was a strong preacher, and “That is exactly what we have.”
Sean works with the Community Care Committee and visits members at hospitals, nursing homes etc. He will always ask the person if they would like a visit, and if someone tells him not to come, then he honors that request. Members were reminded that the only way Sean and the Community Care Committee can be aware that a member is in need of pastoral care is if the church office or the Community Care Committee is notified.
One person questioned why Sean cannot “be a personal friend.” It was explained that UUA minister training discourages friendships between minister and member, as it could lead to the impression of certain people “having the minister’s ear.” Ministers are taught to maintain a friendly yet professional distance; “If I’m your friend I can’t be your minister.”
The next Congregational Conversation will be Sunday, March 23, following the service. Please join us!
Carol Alfus, President