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Ministerial Transition

“It is when we are in transition that we are most completely alive.”
– William Bridges –

Welcome to Neighborhood’s Ministerial Transition webpage. This page is intended to provide the congregation
with an overview of the process Neighborhood is following in the interim period between the departure of Sr. Minister Rev. Lissa Gundlach and the search and call of a new Sr. Minister. It is also provided as a place to document the results of the hard work of reflection and discernment the congregation will undertake in this process. 

We hope you find this webpage helpful and encourage you to reach out to any of us with your thoughts and
questions along the way.

Your Transition Team,

Corinne Grant, Frank Colcord, Ferol Mennen,

Kim Hayden, Eugene Hutchins, & Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley

From the Desk of Rev. Dr. Cooley

It is a privilege and a pleasure to partner with Neighborhood Church as we go through this transition time together. I often find these particularly poignant and revelatory times, as a congregation takes the time to reflect upon its past and dream about its future. A transition time is about far more than preparing for the next minister. It provides an opportunity for the members of the congregation to recognize that a congregation’s identity is formed by its people, not just its leadership. By engaging in healing conversations, acknowledging past successes as well as mistakes, and articulating dreams for the future, relationships can be strengthened and a sense of stewardship, in the largest sense of the word, can be revived.

While this interim time began under unusual circumstances (there is no manual for doing interim ministry in a pandemic!) we have still been able to set the foundation for the important interim work to come in the next two years.

This is a strong congregation with excellent lay leadership, and even having gone through some rocky years recently, I have no doubt that you will emerge stronger than before. I invite you to participate in the important processes of this transition time. All voices are important as we move forward together.

Rev. Dr. Terasa G. Cooley
Interim Senior Minister

Interim Tasks, Timeline & Surveys

August, 2021

Interim Minister Arrives and Transition Begins

November 2021

Transition Planing Workshop Begins

January 2022

Bylaw and Governance Review Begins

February 2022

Search Committee Selection Begins

April 2022

Search Committee Budget Approved

May 2022

Search Committee Formed

November 2022

Congregational Record Submitted

January 2023

List of Ministerial Candidates Received

May 2023

Candidating Week & Sr. Minister Called

The interim period between settled Sr. Ministers is a time of reflection, healing, growth and discernment for a congregation. With the assistance of Rev. Dr. Cooley, Neighborhood members will follow these steps as we move through this important time in our congregational history.

Claim and honor Neighborhood’s past and heal our griefs and conflicts

  • Neighborhood will study who we have been and what we have done, and acknowledge our differences and conflicts.

Illuminate Neighborhood’s unique identity, our strengths, our needs, our challenges

  • Neighborhood will describe ourselves to ourselves fully and fairly. In describing what we are good at and where we need help, we will get clues about preferred qualities in our next called minister.

Clarify the multiple dimensions of Neighborhood’s leadership, both ordained and lay, and navigate the shifts in leadership that accompany times of transition

  • We will evaluate the effectiveness of our organizational structure, the ways in which we fill lay leadership positions, and the relationship between ordained and lay leadership.

Renew Neighborhood’s connections with available resources, within and beyond the UUA

  • We will seek out curricula, counsel, and other resources that will strengthen our congregation now and in the future.

Renew Neighborhood’s vision, strengthen our stewardship, prepare for new professional leadership, and engage our future with anticipation and zest.

 Interim Working Report & Resources

This table provides a chronological list of interim-related reports or other documentation of this work.

Date Milestone Link to Report
Dec 2020
  • Interim Ministry Timeline
  • Transition Start-Up workshop (pt. 2) w/Rev. Millspaugh 

(Timeline Graphic)

(Start-Up WS Results)

Feb 2021
  • Board/Congregation Extends Interim to 3 Years

3-Year Interim Report

3-Year Interim Slides

May 2021
  • Congregational Townhall – Minister Search Process
  • Transition Team Annual Report

(Townhall Report-Out)

(TT Annual Report)

Dec 2021
  • Search Committee Selection Process
(Selection Process)
Jan 2022
  • Search Committee Job Description
(Job Description)


The Board of Trustees and Transition Team have benefitted from the resources listed below as well as the personal guidance and leadership of our Interim Minister, Rev. Dr. Cooley, and consultants from the UUA, including the Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh (UUA’s Regional Congregational Life Representative) and Christine Purcell (UUA Transitions Program Manager).

NUUC Resources:

Sermons from Rev. Terasa about transition

UUA Resources: