Pastoral Transition

The Wellesley Hills Congregational Church is searching for a new settled Senior Minister

following the resignation of the Rev. Matthew Wooster in Spring of 2021 with the goal of calling the next settled Senior Minister in the summer or early fall of 2022

Guided by United Church of Christ resources and our Area Conference Minister, the Rev. Alex Shea Will, the Search Process encourages congregations to divide the tasks among two committees: the Transition Committee and the Search Committee.

Hills Church photo Transition Committee

TRANSITION Committee

The primary responsibility of the TRANSITION Committee was to draft a Local Church Profile for the Wellesley Hills Congregational Church UCC.

In the United Church of Christ, a Local Church Profile articulates the history, worship practices, common life, and mission of the congregation which is seeking ministerial leadership.  In so doing, the congregation reveals the leadership they are seeking to fulfill their mission in ministry.

To complete the Profile, the TRANSITION Committee:

  • Engaged in conversations with church leaders, past and present,
  • Sought out demographic information from the congregation,
  • Conducted a congregational survey, and
  • Involved current staff members and pastoral staff.
  • Reviewed drafts with the Deacons, Church Council, Clergy and other leaders

Now that the Local Church Profile has been received by the Church Council and submitted to the UCC for posting, the TRANSITION Committee has handed off its work to the SEARCH Committee.

Hills Church photo Search and Call Committee

SEARCH Committee

The primary responsibility of the SEARCH Committee is to identify and present a candidate to be the new settled Senior Minister of the Wellesley Hills Congregational Church UCC.

At worship on the seven members of the SEARCH Committee and their service were commissioned and blessed by the Congregation.  Gary McCabe and Becky Lockwood are serving as Co-Chairs, Cynthia Lowe as Secretary, and Jim McKinney as Chaplain.  The other committee members are Neely Dodge, Steven Patrick and Janice Washburn.  The contact person is Gary McCabe. With the Local Church Profile posted on the UCC Ministerial Opportunities at the beginning of March, the SEARCH Committee is receiving ministerial profiles.

Candidates seeking a church profile of more information should speak with the Rev. Alex Shea Will, Southern New England UCC Area Minister, SheaWillA@sneucc.org or 508-244-4769.

From the reading of these profiles, the SEARCH Committee will identify persons with whom they wish to have deeper conversations. With the help of the Holy Spirit, both the SEARCH Committee and a candidate will discern a call.

The SEARCH Committee will prepare a time for the candidate to meet the congregation who will vote for a new Senior Minister.  Ideally, the congregational vote will be this summer and a new settled Senior Minister will begin with the new 2022-23 program year in the fall.

TIMELINE

2021
  • April: Senior Minister, Matt Wooster, announced that he had received and accepted a call to Plymouth Church, UCC, of Shaker Heights, OH. The Church Council and the Board of Deacons then planned to:
  • celebrate Matt’s ministry on his last Sunday, June 20,
  • work with the Rev. Judy Swahnberg and the Rev. Anne Marie Holloway as worship and pastoral leaders over the summer,
  • seek an Interim Senior Minister to begin in the Fall, and
  • partner with the Metropolitan Boston Association of the United Church of Christ to develop a TRANSITION Committee and a SEARCH Committee.
  • Sept 1: Jill & Richard Edens began serving as Interim Co-Senior Ministers.
  • Sept 21: The Co-Senior Deacons with the Interim Co-Senior Ministers met with the Rev. Alex Shea Will, Area Conference Minister for the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ to discuss the search process for a new settled Senior Minister.
  • Oct 24:Co-Chairs, Susie Alexander and Debbie Karlson, introduced Transition Committee to the congregation
  • Nov 17: Co-Senior Deacons host a meeting with the Moderators, Co-Chairs of the Transition Committee, and the pastoral staff about the Search Committee.
  • Nov 28: Church surveys were returned to the Transition Committee who used the resulting information to begin drafting the Church Profile.
2022
  • Jan 5: Co-Senior Deacons continue meeting with the Moderators, Co-Chairs of the Transition Committee, and the pastoral staff about the Search Committee.
  • Feb 22: Church Profile submitted to the Rev. Alex Shea Will, Area Conference Minister for the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ to be posted.
  • March 6: Search Committee commissioned by the congregation at Sunday Worship as they prepare to receive Ministerial Profiles.