WE CALLED A NEW MINISTER!
REVEREND DAVID MILLER-KOHLMEIER
WILL START HIS UUFF MINISTRY ON JULY 1, 2017.
- 42 years old
- Raised as a Jehovah's Witness
- Married to Nathan Kohlmeier 2016
- Became a Unitarian Universalist in 2007
- BA Summa Cum Laude in English, West Virginia State University, 2012
- Master of Divinity Andover Newton 2016, with awards for sermon giving
- Ordained at his home church UU Congregation of Charleston, West Virginia 2017
- Currently acting Minister at First Parish Church in Weston, MA, during the regular minister's sabbatical
Reverend Kohlmeier was with us for candidating week from May 5 to May 14. During that time he led two Sunday services, May 7 and May 14, met with committees and socialized with members and friends. After the second service, members voted, 111 yes to 6 no (95% yes) to accept him as our next settled minister.
Rev. Kohlmeier and Nathan, his spouse, both refer to each other as husbands. They are expecting a baby in August so they have bought a house in East Falmouth large enough for themselves, their new child, and their dog and cat. The house has a guest room, too, as David and Nathan are expecting both their mothers to come to help with the new baby.
Rev. Kohlmeier and the Search Committee after the vote: from the left, Charlotte Harris, Steve Treistman,
Jessica Mark Welch, Lew Stern, Rev. David, Peggy Sabin and Heather DiPaolo.
Reverend David and his husband, Nathan Kohlmeier
Click here to see:
Candidate Week Schedule
Reverend Kohlmeier's first hello to the congregation
Reverend Kohlmeier's website
Our Ministerial Search Packet: Members & Friends - you have to login on the Ministerial Search Packet Site. When the site opens you are not on the full site. To get there, look in the very top right corner to see the Login. Click on the Login and when the login box comes up, use the following name and password to get to the full site:candidate, candidate
FOCUS GROUP & INTERVIEW RESULTS
* you need the Powerpoint application on your computer to open these presentations. If you cannot open the Powerpoint, open these PDF documents of the identical information:
Survey Results Focus Group & Interview Results
We thank all members and friends for their cooperation our requests for information and participation. Your time for very active participation will come during candidating week when you will be asked to come to two Sunday services to hear the candidate preach, to meet with the candidate in the week between those services, to come to general meet and greet, and to think carefully whether to vote for the candidate to become our next settled minister.
Your search committee: Barbara Clements, Heather DiPaolo, Charlotte Harris, Jessica Mark Welch, Peggy Sabin, Lew Stern and Steve Treistman.
P.S. Only members may vote. If you're unsure whether you're member or friend, please check with Dawn Stephenson 508-457-0449 or firstname.lastname@example.org
OUR SEARCH SCHEDULE ENCOMPASSES ONE FULL YEAR
Spring 2016 The congregation elects the search committee
Summer 2016 The search committee learns its job
Fall 2016 The search committee learns what the congregation wants
Winter 2016-17 Ministers apply and the search committee vets 3 or 4 candidates and chooses one to be "the candidate"
Summer 2017 If 95% of the congregation vote to call the candidate, the process is complete, our new minister is called and our next phase begins. If the congregation does not vote to call the candidate, the process begins all over again - with a new search committee.
Q and A
Q. How did applicants find out about UUFF?
A. Three ways:
- UUA published list of congregations in search. Ministers looking for a new congregation can go to this website and lean quite bit about us, and they can search the web for information about our location - housing costs, schools, recreation, the works.
- UUFF's search committee compiled answers to UUA's questions in an electronic document called the Congregational Record. The information for the answers came from the survey, focus groups, interviews, the search committee's analysis of this information and data from UUFF's records. The Congregational Record will be available to ministers in search after November 25, 2016, and will be available to members on this page in this website.
- UUFF's search committee is compiling a Search Packet that is an illustrated version of the Congregational Record. It covers the same ground but in more detail and with lots of pictures. The packet used to be a telephone directory size book but now it is a website, available only by computer. The packet is due to UUA at the end of December and will be available on this page on this website at the same time.
Q. When did ministers apply to UUFF?
A. In January, 2017.
Q. Will the congregation know who the applicants are?
A. NO. But the search committee will know. The information is confidential because most ministers don't tell their own congregations that they are looking. In January and February the search committee reads applicants' "packets" and chooses three or four (if there are enough applicants!) pre-candidates to learn more about. After reference checks and some back and forth, in February and March the search committee will spend a weekend with each pre-candidate. They will interview formally and spend informal time, tour the upper Cape, and go to a "neutral pulpit" UU church (not UUFF and not the pre-candidate's church) to experience him or her in action on Sunday morning. Again, the dates and neutral sites and pre-candidate information are confidential. After "experiencing" each pre-candidates the search committee will choose the candidate from among the pre-candidates.
Q. When did the congregation know who the candidate is?
A. April 2017 Once the choice is made and the chosen person has accepted the search committee's invitation to candidacy, the search committee will tell the congregation that a choice has been made and share information about the candidate if that's possible at that time. There's possibility that the chosen person will not accept the search committee's invitation so addiction has to be made about going forward or waiting until the next round.
Q. When did the congregation meet the candidate and decide to call him?
A. May 2017 The candidate will come for a 10 day visit. S/he will conduct two Sunday services, meet with the Board and committees, get acquainted with members and friends, look around our communities and all parties will see if there's a good fit with UUFF. The congregation will vote on whether to call the candidate after the second Sunday service.
Q. What are the best and worst outcomes?
A. This takes some thought.
- Best, our choice chooses us and we, the congregation, choose her or him, and we have a new settled minister and together we work in harness toward realizing UUFF's goals.
- Not optimal but not really bad, our choice does not choose us and we have to start again. We would rather not start over but we have the time and a new pool of candidates and new search committee may have better luck.
- Also not optimal, the search committee doesn't find a candidate who will be good for UUFF. Possibly there is shortage of applicants. Possibly no one who appears to fit our wishes is attracted to UUFF. But this isn't so bad - we start over in the next round with a new search committee.
- Worst, we make mistake! The person we choose and vote for turns out to be not a good fit for us. Bummer, we have to realize our error - this takes time - and start over.
- UUA Transitions Office resource material says that in the event that a search does not produce a candidate, it should not be considered a failure. “The only failure — the only failure — lies in calling a minister who is a poor match for the congregation.”
Q. Why is the search process so protracted and expensive?
- A. Because of UUA experience and transportation & lodging and food costs for pre-candidates and candidates. Matching ministers to congregations when all parties have free choice takes time. Over many years UUA has learned that equity of opportunity for congregations and ministers is important and requires good information and lots of input. Thus, the protracted process. The costs - UUFF has budgeted $15,000 for the search and it might cost more depending on where the pre -candidates are coming from, how many there are, and how many family members accompany the candidate for the 10 day visit. Homes of members may not be used for lodging; rental cars may be involved; flights are expensive. The search committee made its best effort to manage within the $15,000 and, in fact, spent considerably less!.
We are strong congregation. We have a lot to offer. We did get this right!