Settled Minister Search Team Creation

The Settled Minister Search Team (SMST) welcomes and appreciates congregant’s suggestions. If you would like to reach out to the Search Team, please email with your contact information to

The Settled Minister Search Team SMSTjuly2023

– Dan Wheat-Rivers
– Elizabeth MacLeod
– Cornelia Maxted
– Sara Jarvis
– Bob Harootyan
– Stephen Axhelm
– Thea Hagepanos

with Rev. Dr. Kathy Hurt
(July 2023)

Recorded below are the key steps taken between Jan 23, 2023 – March 26, 2023 to create our UUCWNC Settled Minister Search Team (SMST):

March 26th 2023 –  Special All Congregation Meeting held at Noon in the Sanctuary and on Zoom. Lead by the Board of Trustees (BOT) to Congregation

A quorum of congregation members voted unanimously to elect the slate of candidates who were nominated by the Congregation, and then selected by the Board, to serve on the Settled Minister Search Team. Team members are:

  • Stephen Axhelm
  • Thea Hagepanos
  • Bob Harootyan
  • Sara Jarvis
  • Elizabeth MacLeod
  • Cornelia Maxted
  • Dan Wheat-Rivers

Thank you,

March 23rd 2023 – Email “Agenda & Minutes for 3/26/23 Special All Congregation Meeting” from Board of Trustees (BOT) to Congregation

Dear Fellow UUCWNC Members,

As you know, there will be a Special All Congregation Meeting on Sunday, March 26, 2023, at Noon in the Sanctuary and on Zoom.  We strongly encourage members to attend in person.


  1. Call to Order
  2. Establish a Quorum
  3. A motion to approve the January 15 2023 minutes of the Special All Congregation Meeting
  4. A motion to vote to elect the slate of candidates who were nominated by the Congregation, and then selected by the Board, to serve on the Settled Minister Search Team

The January 15 2023 meeting minutes are attached (to the March 23, 2023 email to Members) for your review.

We will also offer the access for Members Only on Zoom for those members unable to attend in the Sanctuary.  We ask that zooming Members sign on to the link (on the right side of the UUCWNC website) beginning at 11:45am. Please be on the lookout for an additional letter to the Congregation that discuss the details for participating in the meeting via Zoom.

In preparation for our March 26 meeting, the BOT has hosted many ‘Conversations with the Board’ sessions for Congregants.  If you have questions BOT members will again be available Thursday, March 23, 2023 @7pm on Zoom.  (See zoom link on congregation website.)

Once again, this is an exciting time for us, and your participation is needed and valuable!

Thank you,

Becki Schreiber

President, for the Board of Trustees

March 7th 2023 – Email “Settled Minister Search Team Slate!” from Board of Trustees (BOT) to Congregation


On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to announce our slate of candidates for the Settled Minister Search Team!  The following members have agreed to serve for this important role:

·Stephen Axhelm
·Thea Hagepanos
·Bob Harootyan
·Sara Jarvis
·Elizabeth MacLeod
·Cornelia Maxted
·Dan Wheat-Rivers

To introduce themselves to you,  the candidates’ brief bio and photo are listed in this week’s Weekly Digest newsletter.

The BOT members spent a considerable amount of time and energy reviewing candidates to select our Settled Minister Search Team.  The process was both humbling and exciting. More than twenty congregants nominated over forty members for the committee!  We also appreciate the members who took the time to attend any of the six “Conversations with the Board” meetings over the last few months. It has been heartwarming and surely speaks to our beloved community.

We believe that this ‘team’ is not only capable, committed and compatible, but also represents a broad cross section of our congregation.  We are thrilled that each member has stepped up to this important challenge!  BOT members have already referred to these folks as the “Dream Team” and we are grateful!

The Congregation members will be asked to vote for this recommended slate of candidates at our Special All Congregation Meeting on Sunday, March 26.

In gratitude,

Becki Schreiber

for the Board of Trustees

Feb 5th 2023 – Email* from Board of Trustees (BOT) to Congregation

*email highlights

Nominations & Applications for Serving on UUCWNC’s Settled Minister Search Team (SMST)

How to Apply for SMST Participation:

The Board of Trustees invites qualified congregants to nominate and/or apply themselves or others for this important role.

If you have any questions or feedback please email or feel free to contact a Board of Trustees member in person or by phone.

Deadline is February 20, 2023 for submitting nominations or applications to the Board of Trustees.

The UUCWNC Board of Trustees is soliciting nominations to serve on our Settled Minister Search Team (SMST).  For those considering applying themselves, the following will help define the responsibilities of serving on the SMST, the time commitment, and the qualifications expected from those selected to serve.

We encourage you to also consider and nominate fellow congregants whom you believe are well qualified to be a member of the SMST.  Speak to them about why you think they would be good for this role, gauge their willingness to participate and encourage them to complete a nomination form.

Time Expectations for SMST Participation:

Find the major milestones – the Settled Minister Search Team Timeline – Summer 2023 to Spring 2024 on our Minister Search page.  A complete description of each step is contained in the UUA’s Settlement Handbook.

Each ‘Step’ will require significant energy, time and effort from every SMST member.  All SMST participants must be able to meet with the team on a regular weekly schedule plus be able to participate in interviews, evaluation discussions, offer preparation, host visiting candidates, finalize offers and secure, and welcome our next settled minister.

Qualifications for SMST Participation:

We seek applicants who represent all facets of our congregation.  The more our SMST represents our congregation, the more likely a positive outcome.

Summary of the qualifications:

  • Can commit to time required from Spring 2023 to Fall 2024
  • Committed to the principles of Unitarian Universalism
  • Committed to shaping a clear and strong future for UUCWNC
  • Good active listener; seeks to understand the perspectives of others
  • Willing and able to collaborate in a team environment that requires a give-and-take of views and perspectives.
  • Create and support an SMST team agenda; does NOT come with an intractable view of how ‘search’ should be run or what our congregation needs
  • Bring positive energy to the team
  • Willing and able to assess ministerial candidate qualifications
  • Familiar with Word or Excel or has other technical skills to help create a dynamic presentation and information package to describe our congregation.

The SMST would benefit from a mix of SMST of both more recent members and long tenured members.  There is no requirement on participation on other UUCWNC committees/teams; while all SMST participants must be UUWNC members, there is no requirement on tenure.  Again, we hope to have a nice balance of SMST participants who are deeply engaged in other UU activities along with those who may not be as fully involved but are otherwise committed to the mission.

Jan 30th 2023 Email from Board of Trustees (BOT) to Congregation

Nominations – Points to Consider

The UUCWNC Board of Trustees (BOT) is committed to building a strong search team with diverse life experiences and connections to our congregation.

To this end, the Board’s immediate next steps are to gather a team of UUCWNC members who will serve on the Settled Minister Search Team. Once the team is assembled, the slate of individuals will be presented to the congregation for endorsement. And the board needs your help.

It is absolutely critical our congregation identifies a team of individuals who will well represent our congregation and our congregational lives. According to UUA policies and practices, current Board of Trustee members and staff are excluded from serving on this team.

The UUA shares with us one of the most attractive qualities a congregation can have is self awareness – awareness of our strengths and opportunities, what we are like at our best and worst, as well as how we are during a ‘typical’ day. To this end, it will be important to identify individuals who can offer these perspectives as well as share other critical insights about our church and congregation.

As you think about our church community, please consider those:

  • Who you trust to help make this major decision for our congregation?
  •  Who have the good qualities needed for someone to serve on a ministerial search team?
  • Who in the congregation works well with others?
  • Who can represent and serve the whole congregation well? (including the needs of children)
  • Who will be willing and able to commit several hours per week to this effort for much of the duration of the search?
  • Who knows (or can learn) the history and culture of the congregation, whether a member of long standing or relatively new?
  • Who can use this history to present our congregation in a positive proactive manner?
  • Who has been and/or is active in the congregation and has demonstrated both responsible participation and responsible leadership?

After considering these questions, whose names come to mind?

Please submit the form below with your list of names (no more than 8 please).

Your thoughts will provide us with a solid picture of what kind of person we should consider and we thank you for your help.

If you want to know more about the actual Search Team timeline and responsibility please look on page 39 of the Settlement Handbook produced by the UUA.

 To formally Nominate one person now – yourself or someone else (if they have given you permission) – please use the Application for Membership to the Minister Search Team form.

We plan to have the Search Team selected by the end of March 2023, so your immediate attention to this is very important.

After thinking about all of these qualities, who would you trust to serve on the search team on behalf of the congregation? You can submit up to eight recommendations, and even if you only have one or two names, the Board is interested in your suggestions.

Monday, February 20, 2023 is the deadline for submitting Nominations to the Board for consideration to serve on our Settled Minister Search Team.

If you would like to speak to a board member, please, feel free to reach out to with your contact information and we will follow up with you asap.

The UUCWNC Board of Trustees

Jan 23rd 2023 Email from Board of Trustees (BOT) to Congregation 

Process for Forming a Settled Minister Search Team

At the last Congregational Meeting many of you asked us to describe the process the Board of Trustees (BOT) will follow to create the list of nominees for the Settled Minister Search Team.  The BOT has decided to follow this four-step process.

  • Send a communication to the congregation to solicit names of people they think would be a good fit for the Search Team.  The responses are not nominations but will serve to give us a better idea of what kind of person you would trust to be on the Search Team.
  • Send a communication to the congregation that describes in more detail the role of the Search Team and contains a link to a brief nomination formBy filling out this form you can nominate yourself or someone else if you have their permission!  We will also post this in the Digest and make hard copies available at service on several Sundays.
  • The BOT will review the nomination forms and make the final recommendations.
  • The BOT will bring the slate of nominations to the Congregation for a vote. We hope to have this entire process completed by the end of March.

The UUCWNC Board of Trustees