Accredited Interim Minister

Reference

To Congregations in Search:

The  Rev. Joel Miller served our congregation as interim minister from  August 2011 through June 2013. He brought to us a rich array of gifts:

•  As an administrator: management skills that improved staff relations  and function and helped the church progress toward governing itself  appropriately as a mid- to large-size congregation;  

• As a leader  of worship and ministry: a winged mind, an open heart, a rare degree of  candor, a spirit of deep wisdom, and integrity like granite. He will be  a blessing wherever he serves. Rev. Joel’s strong leadership during his  time with us uplifted and transformed the life of our congregation in  major ways. He competently and unapologetically made changes where he  saw they were needed.  

Staff  

One task the Board of Trustees  asked Rev. Joel to take on was management of staff. Because of a  history of mismanagement related to personnel issues, there was serious  mistrust of the Board of Trustees on the part of staff. After several  months with Rev. Joel as head of staff, staff members were functioning  more effectively, they were pleased to be serving the congregation,  their relationship with the Board was much improved, and they were much  clearer about the terms of their employment.

Board of Trustees

As  secretary of the Board at the time, I observed an equally satisfying  improvement in the functioning of the Board. With Rev. Joel’s guidance,  we began to grow out of micromanagement, in which mode we used to spend  many hours of valuable meeting time in rambling discussions of matters  that should have been handled in committees or by staff. We made much  progress toward understanding a board’s rightful role in congregational  governance in a mid-size to large church. These changes were not easy,  and Rev. Joel was admirably patient with us while we learned.

Worship  

As  a congregant, I had never experienced worship services so inspiring, so  moving, so challenging, so full of laughter as those with Rev. Joel in  the pulpit. Having learned much from Rev. Joel, I am humbly proud to be a  Unitarian Universalist, and happy to tell everyone I know about this  wonderful faith, one to which, at long last, I can say “yes!” And he  showed us how much we love each other.  

One alert: He will become  enthusiastically and appropriately involved in every aspect of  congregational life. You’ll have to watch him to see that he doesn’t  overwork.  


Susan Christie, 

Corvallis, Oregon



(Additional references available on request)

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