Sunday Service at Pacific Unitarian

Twelve search parties with congregants were conducted. Most search parties were held within an existing small group or committee. We had one larger, all-church search party.

The following four questions were asked at each search party:

  1. What are the most important qualities you would like to have in our new minister?
  2. What is the most important purpose of Pacific Unitarian?
  3. What was your best experience with a minister?
  4. How will you judge the success of our new minister after a year or so?

Answers to the search party questions showed that there is a lot of unity within the congregation.

Minister’s Qualities

  • A minister who delivers inspiring sermons was overwhelmingly identified as the most desired quality.
  • The second quality closely followed closely was a minister who prioritizes pastoral care.
  • Other qualities the congregation would like to see include someone who can help us grow and increase engagement within the congregation, someone with a good sense of humor, has good moral values, and good administrative and conflict resolution skills.

Pacific Unitarian’s Purpose

  • The vast majority of search party participants felt that the most important purpose of Pacific Unitarian is to create community and to be inclusive and welcoming.
  • Being the forward tip of social justice, being a spiritual home for congregants and representing liberal religious thought were also important purposes.

Best Experience with a Minister

  • Congregants responded that their best experience with a minister had to do with pastoral care.
  • After pastoral care, congregants reported a sermon that made them think, a minister participating in social justice or other events, or help with church related projects as their best experiences.

Judging Success

  • When asked how they would judge the success of our new minister after a year or so, search party attendees predominately responded that larger Sunday service attendance and a more engaged congregation would be the most important way to judge success.
  • Peace and contentment among the congregation, a personal connection with the minister, increased diversity within the congregation, increased financial stability, new programs, and a happy, supported staff were also felt to be ways of judging success.
  • Some people felt that one year was too soon to judge the success of a ministry.
  • Some felt that the minister shouldn’t have the biggest impact – it’s up to us to keep ourselves together and going.

Thanks to everyone who participated in these discussions. They will guide our efforts!