At their September meeting the CVUU Board and Minister discussed holding the congregational vote for a settled minister. I would like to briefly review our selection process and then describe the direction the CVUU Board is taking and the reasoning. You have an important role to play.
An April letter to the congregation explained the selection process we would follow during COVID. We completed our candidating week with Rev. Abbitt and held our congregational Discernment meeting on May 3, 2020. At this meeting we shared our experiences during the week but did not take the usual congregational vote. Instead, Rev. Abbitt and the Board signed a one-year contract so we could get to know each other in person. The agreement stated that within one calendar month of CVUU resuming in-person Sunday services, CVUU would conduct a modified candidating week, recognizing that many congregants would have had in-person opportunities to interact with the Minister. At the end of the modified candidating week, there would be a congregational vote on whether to call Rev Abbitt to be CVUU’s settled minister. In May it appeared that the virus would subside, and we could complete these actions in mid fall.
September has ended, and in-person services and in-person meetings with Rev. Abbitt seem a distant dream. We have adapted with virtual Sunday services, Rev. Abbitt’s attending many committee and task force meetings, Check-in and Chat with Rev. Abbitt opportunities on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and her monthly Reflection sessions on the fourth Thursday at 6 p.m., which began last week. She is enthusiastically meeting us and we her. We are enjoying her sermons weekly and interacting with her in our CVUU practices and committees. In these continuing COVID days, these activities are constituting our “modified candidating week”.
In view of the multiple opportunities for interaction and congregants engaging with Rev. Abbitt, the Board has chosen to call a Special Congregational Meeting on November 8 to vote on calling Rev. Abbitt as our Settled Minister. Between now and then, please engage with Rev. Abbitt in your own personal way, a friendly phone call, sign up to chat, invitation to your zoom meetings or however you are most comfortable.
Our Bylaws prescribe our democratic process as follows:
- Twenty percent (20%) of the members in good standing constitutes a quorum at any congregational meeting
- Only persons who have been members for at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting date and are members in good standing may vote at any congregational meeting.
- Ministerial selection … requires a three- fourths (3/4) affirmative vote of the members voting
Materials for the Special Congregational Meeting will be mailed to you on October 6 to meet the required 30-day notification process. We will be voting electronically as we have in the past. You will be receiving the voting instructions with your materials. We will also hold a practice vote on November 1—the clever, fun one like last time.
After the service on October 18 there will be a virtual congregational meeting to answer your questions and hear your comments. Board members will attend to listen and hear from you.
We have held the dream of a Settled Minister for some time. Please participate in this important decision-making process for building CVUU’s future.
Anne Odell, President