Category Archives: Ministerial Search

Ministerial Musings

Ever since I began serving the Fellowship as your interim minister in August, 2017, we’ve known that I was “pre-fired.”

In a sermon at the end of my first year with you, I announced that I had one foot out the door.  (Here I am, pointing to the door!)  I was laughing then!  Now, it’s almost time for me to go, and I’ll shed a tear (probably more than one) as I actually head out.

I have had a wonderful time with you.  The major goal of this time was to help you get ready for your new settled minister.  You are ready, and Eric Severson is ready to join you on August 1.

I’m heading to Pittsburgh, to serve the First Unitarian Church as interim minister for the next two years.

Because I want to be in Midland mid-July, I’ve revamped my schedule for these next few weeks.   I’ll be here until I leave for General Assembly in Spokane on June 17, and I’ll return to Chicago on June 23 for some vacation time.  Then I’ll be back in Midland on July 15, based here until I head to Pittsburgh on July 31.  While I’m in Midland I’m available for conversations and meetings, and will be glad to talk with you.

I will hold you in my heart always,


Ministerial Candidate – Eric Severson’s Events

We hope you will sign up to attend a Cottage Meeting . You must sign up for a Cottage Meeting by contacting Maxine Guettler at 989-492-4413.

Cottage Meetings
Sunday, April 28, 7:00-8:30pm – 
(FULL) Speed & Michaele Malecki’s House
Monday, April 29, 2:00-3:30pm – Catherine Young’s House
Monday, April 29, 7:00-8:30pm – (FULL) Sara Clavez & Judith Hill’s House
Tuesday, April 30, 7:00-8:30pm – (FULL) Amy Rogers’ House
Thursday, May 2, 7:30-9:00pm – Shannon Sonoras & Simon Cook’s House
Friday, May 3, 2:00-3:30pm – Linda Rector’s House

Eric will be preaching on Sundays, April 28 and May 5, and there will be additional opportunities to meet him and his wife, Ellen, during an extended coffee hour on Sunday, April 28 and during the Serendipity Auction on Saturday, May 4.

Following the service on Sunday, May 5, there will be a Congregational Meeting to vote on calling Eric as our next settled minister. 

Ministerial Search Committee News

The Search Committee is pleased to announce that we have selected a ministerial candidate.  We have followed the advice we received near the beginning of this process to “fall in love” with the candidate.  We hope that you will, too! We are unable to give you more information now until some final details are attended to, but will fill in the blanks as soon as we are able.  In the meantime, we are making arrangements to introduce them to you.

Candidating Week will be April 28 to May 5. The candidate will present a sermon on each of the Sundays.  During the week there will be opportunities for you to meet the candidate and their spouse. We’ll be arranging meetings with committees and other groups within the Fellowship as well as “cottage meetings” in the homes of individual members.  If you would like to host one of these cottage meetings, please contact Maxine Guettler, at

After the service on May 5, we will excuse the candidate and vote on whether to call them.  We hope this will be the beginning of a joyous partnership as our Fellowship moves into the future.

From the Ministerial Search Committee:  Tom Bailey (Chair), Mary Johnson, Maxine Guettler, Chris Nakamura, Tim Wagner, Sasha King

Ministerial Search Committee Update

This month, our team is working to finalize the documents we will be submitting to the UUA. Beginning in December, they will posted for review by ministerial candidates.

We want to thank you for helping us by taking part in the Beyond Categorical Thinking service and workshop and sharing your experience with those who were unable to be there.  Also, we thank you for sending us your photos for inclusion in our packet.

From Tom Bailey

Ministerial Search Committee – Updates

Thanks to all of you who completed the Survey and gave us your viewpoint on our congregation and our needs and priorities. We commit to keep these priorities in mind as we continue the search process.  Click here to view the key findings from the survey summarized on our Members section of our website. 

Also, another reminder that we need photos of activities at the Fellowship or of members taking part in activities in the community for the packet we are assembling for ministerial candidates. Please forward them to Chris Nakamura at

Next on our agenda is Beyond Categorical Thinking, a program made available to us through UUA. On October 14, Mary Esther Johnson will present the service, followed by a workshop to help us in expanding our outlook on selecting a minister. We will be providing a lunch of soup, salad and bread.  Please plan to attend. It promises to be enlightening and should give all of us further insight into the process as well as ourselves.  Sign up here!

Ministerial Search Update

Your Search Committee is continuing to meet regularly in preparation for hiring a new minister. We are looking forward to reviewing your Survey responses. This will help us to understand who we are as a congregation and what qualities our new minister should have. We are also continuing to prepare our congregational packet to present ourselves to prospective candidates. Please complete your survey as this is your opportunity to express your opinions and your concerns in this important step in the evolution of our congregation.

UUA is providing us with a workshop and Sunday service called Beyond Categorical Thinking. It is designed to broaden our thinking about what types of candidates we may call to be our minister. The date for this program will be announced soon. Plan to attend. We are sure to learn a lot about ourselves and the exciting future we can create.