Updated: Jan 26, 2021
What is the “Contract to Call Process” and how does it affect us as a congregation?
Exciting Opportunity for Our Congregation!
Contract to Call Process Task Force
As 2020 nears its end, many of us are going to be only too happy
to wish it farewell. We have been incredibly blessed to have Rev. Amy
Fiorilli as our leader this year. She has been a voice of calm reassurance
amidst social, financial, and political upheaval in the face of a
contentious election and the current pandemic.
In fact, Rev. Amy has done such a good job that many of us have
probably forgotten or perhaps weren’t even aware that she is not our
permanent called minister.
What does the term “called” mean in the UU faith? It means that
the entire congregation goes through a process of determining what we
are looking for in a ministerial candidate, selecting the best choice, and
then voting for him or her. Many of us remember going through this
process when we called Rev. Dean Perkins. It took three years and
culminated in a joyful vote by nearly the entire congregation.
Currently, Rev. Amy is a contract minister. That means that every
year, the Council must evaluate her performance and decide whether or
not to extend her contract for another year. Typically churches do not
hire a full-time contract minister for more than two years. By then
congregations have a good sense of whether or not the contract minister
is the “right fit” for them and move into the “contract to call” process.
We are entering into this process at this time. We have a Contract
to Call Process Task Force consisting of Dean Anderson, Chris Legore,
Jen Kirchoff, and Marty Daniels and led by Nancy McAlley and Kathy
Muzzy. We are in the process of creating a time line and preparing for a
series of small meetings with members and friends of the congregation
culminating in a vote to call next September. The purpose of these
“cottage meetings” is to have intimate, thoughtful conversations about
what we see as the ministry of this church, and whether Rev. Amy is the
right person to lead us in that ministry.
This is an incredibly exciting time for us. Calling a minister is an
opportunity for us to really examine who we are and who we want to
be. The “contract to call” process is shorter and less intense than the
regular calling process simply because we already know the candidate.
We have been working with Rev. Amy for the better part of three years,
first as our intern and now as our full-time minister.
Nonetheless, it is important for us as a congregation to “take the
deep dive” and really explore our ministry. It is conceivable that this
congregation may decide that we need to look for a different minister.
Either way, Rev. Amy will not remain as our contract minister. If we
decide she is not the right fit for us, than it will be time for both Rev.
Amy and our congregation to enter into a regular call. If that is the case,
then Rev. Amy will become our interim minister and help us through
The Contract to Call Process Task Force will be sending out
regular updates as we move forward. Of course we hope that each one
of you will participate in the process through the cottage meetings,
which will take place through the spring and summer. We hope to offer
both Zoom and in-person meetings. If anyone has questions they may
contact any one of us on the task force. Our contact information and
photographs are included below.
In the meantime, take time to think about your hopes for our
church, and your dreams for our ministry. It’s not very often we have an
opportunity to talk deeply about these topics. This is our chance!
With gratitude for this community and congregation –
The Contract to Call Process Task Force
Chris Legore firstname.lastname@example.org
Jen Kirchoff email@example.com
Marty Daniels firstname.lastname@example.org
Nancy McAlley email@example.com
Dean Anderson firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathy Muzzy email@example.com