UCC Board begins search and call process for next General Minister and President
In this letter to the wider church, United Church of Christ Board Chair Cameron Barr outlines the search and call process for the UCC’s next general minister and president.
Dear friends in Christ,
In October 2021, Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer informed the United Church of Christ Board that he will not seek a third term as General Minister and President. Rev. Dorhauer’s official notice to the board that he would retire in 2023 followed his public remarks at General Synod 32, indicating that he would not seek a third term in office.
I am writing to share this news with the Wider Church, and to communicate how the United Church of Christ Board is approaching this important leadership transition. With faith in the Holy Spirit’s power to move in and through the church of Jesus Christ, our intention is to nominate a successor to Rev. Dorhauer in time for the General Synod’s approval in 2023.
We hope that the call of a new General Minister and President will energize the church and bring us all together in a vision for the next chapter of our shared life in ministry. We know that the success of the next General Minister and President begins now, with our prayerful preparations and with our faithful participation in a transparent, inclusive, and equitable process of discernment. I wish to emphasize that our board’s expectation is that the search process will reflect our commitment to empowering women and nonbinary people in ministry, racial equity in leadership, and building hospitable spaces for the differences in identity and lived experience that abound in our common life.
The UCCB has commissioned a team of board members under the leadership of Emma Brewer-Wallin to lead the development of a search committee. We call this the Search and Transition Process Team. Emma’s team is expected to solicit nominations for search committee membership from constituency groups identified in our bylaws as well as from major councils, Historically Underrepresented Groups, and other stakeholders throughout the church. The Search and Transition Process Team is also expected to recommend to the UCCB an appropriate executive search firm to aid our process. We believe that a search firm will aid the search committee in understanding who we are as a church and organization, ensure that the broadest possible pool of qualified candidates is encouraged to apply, and offer critical logistical support to the process. We anticipate that the UCCB will act on the recommendations of the Search and Transition Process Team at its March meeting, or as soon as their work is complete.
Our search process arises from the belief that all of God’s children are called to ministry, and that all who belong to the church of Jesus Christ are blessed with gifts of the Holy Spirit. Please join with us in prayer for the leadership that God is calling forth among us.
In faith, hope, and love,
Rev. Dr. Cameron Barr Chair, United Church of Christ Board
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