We’ve celebrated Rev. Lo’s ministry at WUUC and said our goodbyes. We’ve come to the end of the process for finding an Interim Minister and Rev. Diana Smith will be coming on Aug. 1. But what happens now?
WUUC’s tempo always slows down in July. We have regular services and activities for children, our Board still meets, the office is open regular hours and a Circle Supper is scheduled. However, some of our committees take time off, Inquirers programs take a vacation and Adult RE programs slow down. Most years, our minister takes vacation time. But this year is a little different.
The work of the Interim Search Team, which I chaired, is nearly complete. Now a Transition Team is being formed and will include two Interim Search Team members (Alaine Davis and Chick Sweeney). This way there’s some continuity in the process and Rev. Diana will have some Transition folks she’s already begun to know. The Transition Team helps the Interim get established and then works with her to ensure that the congregation is making progress on the five tasks of the Interim period. (I’ve listed them several times and will put them at the end of this article.) The Team serves for the 2 years of the Interim Ministry.
Some work has already begun in preparation for Rev. Diana’s ministry. She has already found an apartment in Kenmore – close to the Burke-Gilman trail, and she is an enthusiastic bicyclist. Conversations with the Worship Committee have resulted in her August preaching schedule. Rev. Diana has asked to meet with Board Members, Ministry Leads, the Transition Team folks and other leaders in the first two weeks of August. She will be meeting with committees, teams and other groups to get up to speed on WUUC’s many programs and activities. Those first two weeks will be especially busy, so Rev. Diana has asked that non-emergency pastoral visits go to the Lay Pastoral Associates or wait till she’s settled in a bit. In addition, she will attend the UUA’s update sessions for Interims later in August. It’s a busy month!
Let’s offer Rev. Diana a warm welcome when she joins us – it won’t be long now!
– Grace Simons
The five tasks of Interim Ministry are:
- claiming and honoring our past and engaging and acknowledging our grief and conflicts
recognizing our unique identity and our strengths, needs, and challenges
- understanding the appropriate leadership roles of the minister, church staff, and lay leaders and navigating the shifts in leadership that may accompany times of transition
- making appropriate use of regional, UUA, and other outside resources
- renewing our vision, strengthening our stewardship, preparing for new growth and new professional leadership, ready to embrace the future with anticipation and zest