Interim Ministry became a specialty after ministers and congregations realized that when a settled ministry ends, the next ministry will most likely be either 1) an intentional interim ministry, or 2) an unintentional interim ministry.
In the time of transition between settled ministries, a congregation has a unique opportunity to enhance its strengths and better understand its weaknesses. Interim Ministry supports congregations in taking advantage of these opportunities, focusing on five general tasks:
Each of the congregations I have served has a unique culture, history, and justice ministry in the larger community. I find much joy in the adventure of getting to know each congregation and the larger communities around them.
My style of ministry is to observe, ask questions, and have conversations about a congregation’s gifts of ministry and obstacles to its success. I work to connect with people as deeply as I can in a year or two, and to model for the people of a congregation how to be a good partner with their minister(s).
I believe a congregation needs to be loved by their minister(s). I believe congregations, like humans and other living beings, have inherent worth and dignity. And I believe that our congregations can and should be serving the many, many people wanting a UU community but who have been pushed away by our prejudices.
I was presented a stole by the children and adults of the UU Fellowship of Corvallis on the last day of my interim ministry there. The stole is made from scraps of cloth from their homes —baby blankets, a parent's wedding dress, Star Wars bedsheets, a favorite worn-out shirt, a tablecloth. The fabric colors flow like a rainbow from red to violet. I'm kneeling in the picture above as the children place the stole on my shoulders.
Rev. Joel Miller