By Carol Bowers, Human Resources Committee Chair
You may or may not know that our Minister, Lois Van Leer, has a contract with the Church that calls for a Performance Evaluation every three years.  This is a common requirement between congregations and ministers.

Marian Johnson and Carol Bowers who make up the Human Resources Committee took up that challenge.  A Task Force was formed:
Carol Bowers, Chair
Ron Hammond
Marian Johnson
Leslie Morton
Janet Putnam

We did not view this review as a report card.  Instead, it is meant to give both the Task Force and Rev. Van Leer a snapshot of how the congregation regards her ministry and the ministry of the church, to inform the Board’s ongoing planning for the church direction and growth, and to assist in understanding how better to do future evaluations.

It is recognized that evaluating the performance of a minister in service to a congregation is an extremely complex and inexact task. Each member of the congregation has a different view of what the minister does, is suggested to do, and how well she is doing it.

The Task Force elected to reach out to 18 participants each of whom have had meaningful contacts, cooperation and discussion with Rev. Van Leer in the past three years and whose relationships with Rev. Van Leer encompass the major areas that we assume to represent her service to the church.  The group includes some current Board members, past Board presidents, paid staff, and volunteers.

The Task Force members prepared a list of open-ended questions, soliciting comments through interviews regarding the major areas of Rev. Van Leer’s ministry and a rating of performance based on the responders’ expectations.

Finally the documents were consolidated and summarized and the 33 page document was given to Lois to review.  She met with the Task Force and shared her responses to what she read.  She commented that overall she saw very good results.  She “feels seen, appreciated and supported”.

The document also showed some trends where there could be improvement and growth.  Some of those areas were discussed in the meeting and will be considered when determining  goals for the coming year.