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Ministerial Transition & Search

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


At Neighborhood’s 2022 Annual Meeting in May, the Congregation elected a wonderful slate of seven church members as their Senior Minister Search Committee. The slate represents 162 years of membership, an expansive array of lay-leadership experience, an assortment of personal and professional skills, and a diversity of identities. All of which will represent the congregation well and go along way to bringing Neighborhood a terrific Senior Minister candidate.  

The Search Committee is already deep into their work, kicking it all off with a facilitated planning retreat in July. The Committee encourages everyone to take the Search Survey, attend Cottage Meetings, and participate in other opportunities to assist them in the search process.  “This input allows us to understand who we are and where we’re going, so we can identify the ministerial candidate that best meets Neighborhood’s wants and needs now and into the future”. Thank you for everyone’s help and participation during this exciting time in the life of Neighborhood Church!


Your Search Committee,

Mary Fauvre Holmes, Ben Lopez, Sarah Marcotte,
Lynn Miyamoto, Louisa Villeneuve, Paul Wallace, Margaret Wilcox


Sr. Minister Search Process & Timeline

The Search Committee will be following a process consistent with the UUA Transitions Office. Below is a timeline to illustrate where the Committee should be in the process at any given time of our 2022-2023 church year. Additional Search and Interim related information and documentation is provided further down this page.


Click HERE to download the above timeline as a file, and view text larger. 

Welcome to Neighborhood’s Ministerial Transition & Search webpage. This page is intended to help the congregation stay abreast 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 is undertaking 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/Search Tasks & Timeline

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/Search Report & Resources

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

DateMilestoneLink 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)

Apr 2022

  • Beyond Categorical Thinking Workshop w/Rev. Keith Kron

(in-person @ NUUC)

May 2022

  • Search Committee Nomination & Biographies
  • Governance Working Group Report

(Search Committee)

(Governance Report)

Aug 2022

  • Board’s Governance Action plan
  • Ministerial Search Congregational Survey

(Governance Plan)
(Search Survey)

Sep 2022

  • Cottage Meeting Schedule

(Cottage Schedule)

Feb 2023

  • Visioning Workshop
  • Care & Feeding of New Minister Discussion

(Visioning and  Care Report )


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: