The Nominating Committee is composed of seven members of the congregation who are elected to the committee plus one Board-appointed liaison member. The Committee identifies lay leaders to be considered for roles on the Board of Trustees, the Nominating Committee itself, and the Ministerial Search Committee. Church members are encouraged to recommend themselves or other members for these leadership positions.
The Nominating Committee is a committee of Main Line Unitarian Church that is mandated in its bylaws. With input from the church membership and staff, the Nominating Committee identifies lay leaders to be considered for nomination for the following:
• Three Board of Trustees annually (three-year appointment)
• Two Nominating Committee members annually (three-year appointment)
• One Moderator every three years (three-year appointment)
• Ministerial Search Committee (one-year appointment, as needed)
With a list of potential candidates, the Nominating Committee recruits individuals qualified and willing to be nominated for the various MLUC leadership positions. The slate of candidates identified by the Nominating Committee is made public in advance of the Annual Congregational Meeting (petitions for each candidate must be posted and signed), and the slate is put up for a vote at the Annual Meeting.
Major attributes we seek in a Nominating Committee member:
1. Available to attend committee meeting once a month.
2. Personable and detail-oriented.
3. Available to contact potential candidates and perhaps meet with them to discuss the job responsibilities.
4. Active member of the church and has participated and/or held a leadership position on a committee.
5. Ability to judge character and trust instincts to determine who would make a good match for specific committees.
Board of Trustees
Every year, three people rotate off the Board and need to be replaced. The Nominating Committee’s duty is to analyze the remaining slate of Trustees, determine skills needed to create a well-rounded Board, and identify and get commitments of interest from three new candidates for Congregational approval.
The Nominating Committee encourages recommendations from the Congregation and the ministers. Starting in September, the Committee meets (monthly or more regularly) in closed sessions to discuss possible candidates. The Committee then meets with each potential nominee to discuss the Trustee role and determine interest. Once candidates show willingness to serve, their names are submitted by petition to the Board President/Secretary, with a minimum of 20 signatures needed. The petitions must be received no less than 30 days prior to the Annual Meeting (usually in May). The names are advertised to the Congregation. They are then voted on by the Congregation at the Meeting.
In addition, self-naming candidates can elect to submit a petition under the timing and process stated above.
Major attributes we seek in a Board of Trustees member:
1. Visionary leadership.
2. Available to commit time, energy, and talents to the Church (two meetings a month and readings throughout the month).
3. Ability to articulate the values and mission of MLUC, to the congregants as well as to the greater community.
4. Skillful at listening to and communicating with congregants.
5. Ability to oversee Church finances and other assets.
6. Willing to work within MLUC’s current governance model with the eye to constant improvement.
Senior Minister Search Committee
When the Church is in need of a settled Senior Minister, the Nominating Committee (NomCom) is responsible for nominating seven to eight church members to serve on a Senior Minister Search Committee (SMSC). Once selected by the congregation, this special committee will work together over the course of about 14 months to bring forward a Senior Minister candidate for consideration by the congregation whose vote can “call” the candidate to serve the Church.
A SMSC is comprised of skilled members from the congregation who have demonstrated exceptional leadership. The task of the NomCom is to compile a list of individuals trusted by and broadly representative of the congregation to carry out the work of serving on a SMSC. Initially NomCom will gather names through a Call for Recommendations from the congregation. Then NomCom will follow through with interviews and reviews of references of individuals named. Finally, a slate of seven or eight names will be posted for 30 days with photos and bios for the required endorsement by 20 members per nominee. The endorsed slate of nominees can be adopted by the congregation as the official SMSC through a vote at a special congregational meeting.
NomCom’s goal is to select a slate of nominees for a Senior Minister Search Committee committed to honoring the congregation’s trust through a process that selects a ministerial candidate who best can carry out the mission, purpose and policies of the Church.
Attributes: NomCom seeks Senior Minister Search Committee members who are:
- Available and committed to participate actively during the 14-month process of identifying a new senior minister for MLUC.
- Dedicated to working collaboratively as a team-member during the entire process
- Experienced with leadership skills and significant participation at MLUC.
- Capable of representing MLUC favorably and faithfully to the ministerial candidates with whom they speak.
In addition to these attributes, SMSC members as a team require a variety of skills in order to accomplish several important tasks including:
Lead – guide and support the committee while following the vision of the SMSC. The leader convenes meetings and is the primary communicator with the Board, the Transitions Office, the MSR, and the District Executive.
Survey – design a survey instrument or other methodology to comprehensively and accurately determine the needs and desires of the entire MLUC congregation in finding a new minister.
Analyze– use data analysis skills to analyze the results of the survey. Data analysis will help to elucidate how different groups in MLUC might feel differently with regards to identifying a new minister.
Create Informational Packets – apply skills and vision to create a packet of information for ministerial candidates that presents a faithful, welcoming impression of MLUC, its culture, people, vision, and aspirations for its next Senior Minister.
Interview Referrals – conduct reference calls, by phone or Zoom, to obtain information that the committee wants about each candidate; record and communicate these findings within the committee.
Coordinate Candidate Visits – arrange preaching dates in area churches for pre-candidates, also arrange and manage all-inclusive hospitality during the visit. Close attention to details surrounding the visit can influence a positive first impression of the MLUC congregation for a ministerial candidate.
Record and Communicate – regularly record notes and minutes of committee meetings and reports. Communicate to the congregation the committee’s progress, and also to pre-candidates regarding the committee’s progress with consideration of their application.
Manage Finances – create a budget, record and track expenses, and manage reimbursements. Report to the Finance Committee of the church and possibly head the negotiating team.