The process by which authorized ministers and congregations come together for shared ministry in the name of Jesus Christ and on behalf of the United Church of Christ is entitled “Search and Call.” Search and Call takes considerable time and thoughtfulness, with prayerful attention to both logistical detail and the movement of God’s Spirit. It is expected that authorized ministers and local congregations work closely with Conferences and Associations while engaged in Search and Call.
Any governing body should be sure to use the Call Agreement Workbook, found in print or online.
Ministers in Search. The Guide to Pastoral Search & Call for Ministers/Candidates in Search provides discernment tools and practical help during the search process. Use the following tools for professional networking: The Snapshot as your online UCC business card, the Ministerial Profile, and open positions listed at UCC Ministry Opportunities. Practices of discernment will assist you as you prayerfully read Local Church Profiles and proceed to interview with search committees. Maintain an account in the Ministerial Profiles system (where both the Snapshot and Profile are created) to demonstrate your availability to serve as special resource person, supply minister, designated-term minister, intentional interim minister, and/or settled minister. If you’re a minister from another denomination and you hope to seek a call within the United Church of Christ, you should first be in conversation with your local UCC Association or Conference.
Intentional Interim Ministers. The Guide to Pastoral Search & Call for Intentional Interim Pastors provides logistical and liturgical tools for the interim season. Use the Local Church Profile to assist the momentum and work of the congregation during an interim season. You may work closely with the governing body or a transition team to engage the whole congregation in discovery, assessment and/or healing, in preparation for the call of a next settled minister. Always work collegially with conference staff and help the congregation do the same. Specialized training for intentional interim ministers is available through the Interim Ministry Network and affiliates. Support and advocacy for intentional interim ministers can be found through membership in the Association of United Church of Christ Intentional Interim Ministers (AUCCIIM). Note: The ethics of professional transitional ministry dictate that no minister serving under interim terms of call is eligible to be considered a candidate for the settled position when it becomes available.
“The gifts Christ gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,
to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” – Ephesians 4:11-12