Ministerial Search News

The Search is ON!


Greetings Members and Friends of UU Asheville,

Our amazing Ministerial Search Committee (MSC) is already deep into their work, having kicked it all off with a facilitated planning retreat last month. The Committee encourages everyone to take the Congregational Survey, attend Cottage Meetings, and participate in other opportunities to assist them in the search process. Your input allows us to understand who we are and where we’re going, so we can identify the ministerial candidate that best meets our congregation‘s wants and needs now and into the future. Thank you for everyone’s help and participation during this exciting time in the life of UU Asheville!

Your Ministerial Search Committee
Ruth Christie, Joanne Fox, Shawn Gibson, Joyce Hooley-Gingrich, Charlie Marks, Dale Wachowiak, and Gina Phairas, Chair.

To contact the Search Committee, send an email to

Search Timeline


September/October:Congregational Survey

October 23-November 1:Cottage Meetings & Focus Groups

November: Congregational Record Completed


December 1: Congregational Record Shared with Prospective Ministers

January: Applicant List Received & Individual Interviews

February/March: Pre-Candidating Visits

March: Final Candidate Determined


March-April: Negotiations & Background Checks

April: Candidate Announced to Congregation

April/May: Pre-Candidating Week & Congregational Meeting

May: UUA Notified of Called Ministry

Preparation For New Minister Begins

Ministerial Search Committee

Purpose and Possibility, September 20, 2022
Gina Phairas, MSC Chair

It’s been 17 years since our congregation last searched for a called minister. That means many of us have never engaged in the work of a ministerial search, and for others it’s been a while. So now is a good time to
reflect on what the search process is all about and what role we all play in finding our new minister.

First, know that the process is well underway. We’ve chosen a committee to help guide us through the search process, but you may be surprised to learn that the committee’s job is not to decide who the next minister should be. Rather their task is to find the minister who can help us realize our vision for UU Asheville.We all have a role to play and the committee can’t play its part if we, the members of UU Asheville, don’t play ours. Our committee needs to know what we want “church” to look like, what role we want to play in our  community, the concerns we have, and what we see as UU Asheville’s purpose. In other words, the congregation tells the committee where we want UU Asheville to go, and the committee searches for a faith leader who can take us there.

The committee members are not looking for their minister, they’re looking for the congregation’s minister, so the committee needs to hear from all of us.

To make that easy, the committee has two tasks for everyone in the congregation:

First, complete the congregational survey. This is your first opportunity to tell the committee your hopes for UU Asheville. Admittedly, the survey is a little long so set aside some time to give it some real thought. You’ll find that the survey will not only help the committee get a picture of who we are, it’s also designed to help you envision what we could be. It’s well worth the time investment.

Second, attend a cottage meeting. In these small group meetings, you’ll once again be thinking about the purpose of UU Asheville, but unlike the survey, you’ll be sharing your ideas with and listening to those of  fellow congregants. It’s an opportunity to begin building the community you want to be a part of.

Those are the two tasks we can all do to help. Complete the survey and come to a cottage meeting. Pretty simple.

While the search process is a time for reflection about who we are, it’s also a time filled with possibility. May we approach the search process with excitement, curiosity, and openness to the possibilities a new minister can bring.

Get Involved!

Participate in the process to elect the search committee

Complete the congregational survey

Attend a cottage meeting or focus group

Attend any special forums (ex. Beyond Categorical Thinking Workshop)

Attend Candidating Week Events

Vote on Our Selected Candidate


Questions or Comments?

To contact the Ministerial Search Committee, send an email to

To contact the Board of Trustees, send an email to

To contact our Interim Lead Minister, send an email to


Here are the members of the Ministerial Search Committee.

Click on the image to see the Committee member’s bio.

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