Answers to Minister’s Agreement Questions

The following are questions that seemed to be left unanswered after our June 2 conversation with the congregation about the Minister’s Agreement.   Rev. Craig and Trustees Arlana Young & Karen Palmer worked together to provide these answers. If you have further thoughts or questions, please don’t hesitate to speak with Rev. Craig or any Board member and we’ll do our best to provide you with further clarity.  The plan going forward is for Trustee Rosemary Summers and Rev. Craig to draw up a draft update to the current Minister’s Agreement utilizing the congregation’s input and the new UUA/UUMA recommendations. After this first draft is reviewed by the Board, we will host another conversation about the Minister’s Agreement with the Congregation around mid or later September.  We will attempt to further clarify questions and obtain more input which will inform the negotiation with the Minister and Board toward a final updated Agreement.

Answers to Minister’s Agreement Questions

1.1 Requested article to be written in newsletter to clarify Governance structure including committees and teams. 
This was written and published in the Newsletter the 1st week in July, 2019.

2.1 How much time is spent on “Rights of Passage” for non-members?
The answer is “it varies” depending on the type of ceremony and how many people the Minister needs to speak with about the service (can be from 3 to 20 hours). The Minister performs these services for Members of UUSO without charge. He makes private fee arrangements with non-members. Non-members also pay a rental fee to UUSO if they are using our Sanctuary or other spaces. The number of Rights of Passage for members and non-members are specified in the Annual Report for the Minister each year.   As expressed at the meeting with the congregation about the Agreement, Rights of Passage are an important part of our UUSO ministry and community outreach. 

2.4 Should responsibilities of Minister as Chief of Staff be included in the agreement?
How can congregants express concerns or request more support from the staff for their volunteer service to UUSO’s Mission? There is agreement with the Minister that Chief of Staff responsibilities would be appropriate to specify in the Agreement. As Chief of Staff, Rev. Craig is the Staff supervisor. All concerns or requests for more support for our volunteers should be addressed to him. If concerns or requests are not adequately addressed, then they should be brought to the Board.

2.5 How does the Board of Trustees evaluate the “conduct of the ministry”?
Once or twice a year the Board and Committee On Ministry choose a topic of ministry to explore with the Congregation and together they lead focus groups on that area of Ministry using the appreciative inquiry approach. Rev. Craig provides a self- assessment and a list of goals each year to the Board of Trustees. A summary of this self-assessment along with the minister’s goals for the next year are published in the newsletter.

3.1 Should the minister’s compensation package be listed in the Minister’s Agreement?
This is more efficiently and thoroughly handled in the budget process. However, certain general parameters such as percentages the Minister and Congregation contribute to health care insurance could be added.

5.1 How are vacation days calculated?
Currently the Minister has 28 vacation days to use as he schedules for himself. They can be taken one day out of a week or grouped into more days together. The same is the case with Study Leave which amounts to 28 days as well. Study Leave is specifically for the purpose of renewal, reflection, writing, etc related to Rev. Craig’s ministry.  Vacation days are free for him to plan anything he wishes. The Minister is required by the Agreement to share his schedule of Vacation and Study Leave with the Board of Trustees for the year to come and receive approval.

Vacation days and Study Leave are completely separate from Rev. Craig’s weekly Sabbath Day and Study Day. These are essentially days when the congregation agrees to respect that this is time for himself two days a week. It is not exactly like everyone’s weekend in that he is still “on call” at any time and may have to interrupt his personal plans for these days

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