April 28, 2013:
About 15 enthusiastic people turned out for the Interim RE Task Force Brunch on Sunday, April 28 before the Coming of Age service. This was the Task Force’s first information session/cottage meeting and it generated a lot of good discussion, responses and ideas.
Included in this summary is the agenda, list of handouts distributed and the responses and suggestions generated.
Cedar Lane’s Interim Religious Education Task Force
The CLUUC Board of Trustees created theInterim Religious Education Task Force in February 2013 to gather input from the congregation on the vision and future needs for the RE program for children, youth and adults, and report the results to the Board. Working through September 2013, the Task Force will be address interim tasks that precede the work of an RE Search Committee to be elected in the fall. As one of its first activities, the Task Force will host a Cottage Breakfast on April 28 at 8:30 am in the Lounge to which all interested Cedar Laners are invited.
FAQs: The Search for a Professional Religious Educator
Prepared by the Board of Trustees’ Transition Coordinating Committee
On January 22, 2013 the CLUUC Board of Trustee’s Transition Coordinating Committee met with Jan Gartner, UUA Professional Development Associate for Religious Education and Music Leaders. Joining the discussion by phone was Keith Kron, Director of the UUA Settlement Office in Boston.
The purpose of the meeting was to explore with the UUA staff how a professional religious educator search committee might be formed and the search process conducted to attract both ordained and non-ordained candidates for the RE leadership position.
Announced May 2012:
We are pleased to announce that Karen Lee Scrivo has been selected to serve as the Interim Director of Religious Education (DRE) for Cedar Lane. Her credentials are impressive, she has many years of experience with Religious Education and Adult Programs. She is a trained Interim Director of Religious Education.
Ms. Scrivo served as Interim DRE at Paint Branch UU Church, the U U Congregation of Columbia, and at her home church of Goodloe Memorial. She is currently serving as adjunct staff for the Joseph Priestley District. She holds two Masters Degrees, one in Communications and one in International Affairs and worked as a journalist for many years. She is also Montessori trained and has taught elementary school. Ms. Scrivo is currently working on completing a Masters of Divinity at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA. Karen lives in Glenn Dale, Md with her husband, Ken Shilling. Their son, Kelson, is a junior in college. And she even plays guitar and sings!
April 27, 2012
From the Chair and Transition Coordinating Committee (TCC): UPDATE ON Leadership and GOVERNANCE AT CEDAR LANE
The Board continues to educate ourselves about effective governance, and to prepare for leadership transitions at Cedar Lane. We want to keep you “in the loop!” Here’s the latest:
What is happening with the RE Program?
RE classes finished out the year under the extremely capable oversight of Linda Gianessi, our Temporary Religious Education Coordinator, with help from our wonderful staff and RE Council volunteers. The TCC is actively interviewing candidates for the Interim Religious Education position for a two-year term (one year renewable to two) beginning this August. We expect to make an announcement about the RE position very soon.
Was the Rev. Evan Keely’s contract renewed for a second year as Interim Senior Minister?
Yes. We are grateful for Evan’s capable leadership during the next church year as the Board refines its interim priorities to focus in greater depth on subjects like governance, before the congregation elects our settled Senior Minister.
Remind me why we’re talking about governance?
The Board realized it was in Cedar Lane’s best interests to research forms of governance given the significant changes in our ministry in the first year of our new mission statement. Governance is how we carry out our mission as a faith organization. We want Cedar Lane to have the best and most effective relationship between the Board, clergy, staff, committees, and congregants for generations to come.
So what research have you done?
In addition to books and discussions at the Board level, we arranged a meeting with leaders of four large Beltway UU churches that, like many UU churches in the past 10 years, have made a transition to “policy-based governance.” Staff members, the Senior Minister Search Committee, and the Breakthrough Task Force were also in attendance. We learned a great deal about how these UU congregations define explicitly the lines of authority and delegation among the congregation’s lay leaders, clergy, and staff, based on their own history and culture. The details varied, but all the leaders were very positive about policy-based governance.
What happens now?
The Board will continue discussions and review, engaging the Senior Minister Search Committee and the congregation. What the timetable will be, we don’t yet know. Our Senior Minister candidates will be part of the governance dialogue, but we won’t be making any major changes anytime soon. As always, we welcome your thoughts.
THE BOT TRANSITION COORDINATING COMMITTEE 2011-12
FROM THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES’ TRANSITION COORDINATING COMMITTEE:
FAQ: Where are we in the process?
Since last September, the Board’s subcommittee called the “Transition Coordinating Committee” (TCC) has issued periodic updates on transition issues, focusing on changes in RE leadership after the Rev. Susan Archer’s retirement on January 1 (see September 27, 2011 article) and the upcoming search for our settled Senior Minister (see accompanying timelines on the CLUUC website.) Here is another update on our progress.
Q. Which leaders are we looking for now?
We are actively advertising for an interim Religious Education (RE) leader, who will start August 1 for a one-year contract renewable for a second year. (See job description here.) Our options for an RE Interim include a Minister of Religious Education (MRE), or a Director of Religious Education (DRE), a highly qualified lay professional who may or may not have undergone one or more levels of formal RE credentialing through the UUA. The Interim RE leader is hired by the Board of Trustees to assist the Rev. Evan Keely in the first year of our congregation’s leadership transition self-examination and visioning process, especially as it pertains to RE; and in the second year, will report to our settled Senior Minister to complete that process. We will begin the search for our long-term RE leader in April 2014.
Meanwhile, our Senior Minister Search Committee candidates chosen by your nominations are ready for election as a slate at the Annual Congregational Meeting on April 15. These seven people will each devote 250 to 400 hours to selecting the best qualified candidate for our new Senior Minister to start in August 2013. (For details, see The UUA Settlement Handbook, http://www.uua.org/documents/mpl/transitions/settlement_handbook.pdf)
Q. Why aren’t we filling the RE leadership vacancy on a long-term basis as soon as possible?
Based on UUA advice and recommendations, the TCC and the Board decided: (1) The RE Program and the congregation would benefit from an interim process led by a professional RE Interim; (2) the Senior Minister position should be filled before the permanent RE leader is chosen, in part because it is very difficult to conduct two searches at the same time; and (3) Cedar Lane has many unique characteristics and will attract excellent candidates for both the Senior Minister and RE positions, so it is wise to take all necessary time to evaluate our needs thoroughly and find the best people.
Q. It seems like we’ve always had an MRE. Why are we considering other types of Religious Education professionals?
We’ve had both DREs and MREs. Two of our DREs became MREs while at Cedar Lane, and about half of our 60 years of RE have been led by an MRE. Although Cedar Lane was a pioneer in the MRE concept, there are fewer MREs available today and even fewer MREs who specialize in the interim process. However, the UUA provides other levels of credentialed and highly qualified Religious Education leaders who are not ordained ministers. We cannot predict the availability of MREs for our permanent RE leader, or our ability to meet UUA salary guidelines for the ministers we would like to hire and retain. The interim period could be an opportunity to experience another type of skilled religious education leader to guide us through a process of self-examination, reflecting on the history of our RE program and our vision of what we’d like it to be. We encourage everyone to keep an open mind.
Q. What if we really like the Interim RE leader who starts this year; can that person stay on permanently?
Interim professionals are specially trained to help congregations through times of leadership transition, and that important role may be compromised if there is any consideration of candidacy for long-term employment at the time the interim process is underway. However, any Interim RE leader we hire will be enthusiastically devoted to our youth, our families, our RE programs, and our lifespan religious education. We are highly conscious of the need to keep everyone engaged and maintain the excellence of our RE program through the interim process and beyond.
The Board always welcomes your thoughts and questions in this time of transition. Please don’t hesitate to contact me, or reach out to any BOT member at the front desk or in the lounge immediately following Sunday services.
- - Bonnie Beavers, BOT Chair 2011-12, on behalf of the TCC
Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist