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Ministerial Search Committee

The purpose of the Ministerial Search Committee is to:

Establish and conduct the process for possible consideration of Rev. Kathleen Owens as Lead Minister, and, if required, further conduct a search for Lead Minister, and Conduct a search, in consultation with a new Lead Minister, for a second minister.

The Congregation has selected the candidates below for the Lead Ministerial Search Committee.

Ministerial Search Committee Members

Mike Dorfi

Nancy Fisk

Isabella Furth

Jan Garbosky

Michael Gilgun

Nikki Helms

Dave Hunt

Reverend Jennifer Channin Is Our New Assistant Minister!

(April 6, 2014)

At the Congregational Forum held today, the Search Committee presented their selection for the new Assistant Minister. Rev Jennifer Channin was unanimously selected by the Committee and unanimously approved by the Church Board at a special Board meeting held April 3rd.  Jennifer is currently serving as the Program Coordinator for the UUA Ministers Association. She grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, in a UU family and graduated in 2004 from McGill University with an International Development Studies major and Religious Studies minor. In 2011, she graduated from Harvard Divinity School with a master’s thesis on cultural misappropriation and then served as the intern (simultaneously) for two churches in Canada - First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa (the largest UU church in Canada) and the UU Fellowship of Ottawa.

Jennifer is bilingual (English/Portuguese) and has stated she wishes to begin studying and become fluent in Spanish.  She has more than 10 years of experience in non-profits in fundraising and development, is passionate about social justice, loves co-ministering with youth, and planning multi-generational worship. Rev. Channin is called to creative ministry incorporating music and artistic expression, sings, and plays guitar. It was clear to the Search Committee that Jennifer understands our Strategic Plan and the need for multi-cultural/inter-cultural competency in our programs.

Reverend Kathleen Owens, stated, "I'm am so happy that Rev. Jennifer Channin will be joining the ministerial team at First Church. I think she has many talents and gifts to share with our congregation and know her ministry with us will take us further into our future, fulfilling our strategic goals. Jennifer's energy is contagious; her sermons are thought-provoking and her musical gifts and talents will be a natural fit for this community. I am very excited by her and look forward to working with her as we continue to live our mission into reality."

In an excerpt from her first congregational greeting, Jennifer said, "I'm very happy and eager to finally devote myself entirely to parish ministry. This may be our first introduction, but I'm looking forward to getting to know you all slowly while serving as your minister over the years. Thank you for welcoming me into your congregation. I'll see you in August!"

The Reverend Jennifer Channin will begin her ministry at our church on August 1, 2014.



Ministerial Search Committee Latest Update

(January 23, 2014)

The Search Committee has received 12 applications for the assistant minister position. We have selected about half of those for further review. In the next 2-3 weeks, we will be asking for additional detailed information from those applicants. We will also send them our Congregational Packet, a document that provides a very detailed look at First Church's programs, people, campuses, and more. Our next step will be to determine which applicants we want to interview.  See us on the Hillcrest Patio the 3rd Sunday of every month.

(November 1, 2013)

What's Next?

Link to article in November First Words, "What's Next for the Search Committee".

(October 2, 2013)

A Ministerial Search Update

By now, we are sure you’ve heard the exciting news that Rev. Kathleen Owens has been called by the congregation to be our next Lead Minister upon the retirement of Rev. Dr. Arvid Straube next June. Details on the voting and Kathleen’s acceptance can be found below.

Now, we begin our search for a second minister. First, the church Board of Trustees, in consultation with Rev. Kathleen, will determine if the second minister will be an Assistant, hired by the Board, or an Associate, called by the congregation. That decision is expected to be made at this month’s Board meeting held on October 15 (Tuesday). If the decision is made to hire an Assistant Minister, there are two possibilities for how that appointment will work. An Assistant Minister may be hired with the expectation that after a two or three year period he or she may be called by the congregation as an Associate Minister. This vote would occur after enough time has passed to ensure the individual is a good match with our church and, of equal importance, with Rev. Kathleen. Alternatively, an Assistant Minister may be hired for a two or three-year fixed term with no expectation of a longer term.

As this process moves forward, Rev. Kathleen becomes a member of the Search Committee, and the initial steps are being taken to go in search. These steps include the preparation of a Congregational Record and Congregational Packet, two documents which are available to UUA Ministers who are looking for open ministerial positions. Beginning in November, prospective ministers will have access to the documents and can begin submitting their Ministerial Record to the Search Committee, a first step in applying for the position.

The Search Committee will conduct interviews and follow an established process that will culminate in the selection of the candidate that we will recommend to the church Board (Assistant) or to the congregation (Associate). We will elaborate on that process in future communications with the congregation. Our goal is to identify this individual by March of next year with the intention of having them begin serving next summer.

We continue to encourage you to contact us with questions or comments, either in person or via our web page contact form. 

In loving process,
Your Ministerial Search Committee

(September 29, 2013)

esults of Congregational Meeting

History was made on September 29, 2013 when the Rev. Kathleen Owens was called to be the Lead Minister at First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego beginning on July 1, 2014.

After serving over six years as our Associate Minister, Kathleen was called by an overwhelming vote of 95.1 percent. Out of the 348 ballots cast, 331 voted "yes," 17 voted "no," and none abstained. Kathleen accepted our call with the following words, "Oh you brave, wonderful people. Thank you for your love, support, and willingness to be on the team. You inspire me and I am more blessed than I can say to be with you in this work. Let's go get 'em!"

(September 8, 2013) 

The MSC selects Reverend Kathleen Owens as our candidate for Lead Minister

After much listening and deliberation, the Search Committee unanimously and whole-heartedly determined that Kathleen should be brought forward as the candidate for Lead Minister of First UU Church of San Diego. Over an intense seven week period, we reviewed the data and comments from 376 surveys, nine forums, ministry team responses, staff interviews, and references. We studied Kathleen’s detailed Ministerial Record and conducted a three hour interview with her.

By the conclusion of this data gathering and analysis process, it was very clear to the committee that Kathleen is an excellent match for where the congregation has told us they want to go, and that she is unquestionably the kind of minster the congregation wants to lead us. At the congregational forum held September 8, 2013 in the Meeting House, we presented a summary of our work that led to our decision. For those unable to attend, we encourage you to review our presentation. Some may also like to see our analysis of the 30 question congregational survey.

 The committee is now diligently planning “Candidating Week”, the eight day period where Kathleen will preach twice and meet with various groups. We expect that the week will include two events open to all congregants, where everyone will have an opportunity to hear Kathleen discuss her vision for the future of our church, as well as her goals, objectives, and  priorities if she is called as Lead Minister. During Candidating Week events, Kathleen will also respond to any questions you may have. We will soon publish a Candidating Week Calendar – September 22 to 29. The committee highly recommends you read Kathleen’s Ministerial Record, as it contains much of the information we think congregants would want to know when considering their decision to support Kathleen’s call.

Candidating Week will conclude with a Congregational Meeting on Sunday September 29 at 1PM. The sole agenda item for that meeting will be a church membership vote to call Kathleen as Lead Minister. Absentee ballots will be available from the Hillcrest church office two weeks prior to the meeting.

Please continue to communicate with us via our email if you have questions about the process or would like to express a concern: firstuuchurchsearch@gmail.com.

With deepest gratitude,
The Ministerial Search Committee

About Us

We are the 2013-14 Ministerial Search Committee and we are charged with finding a new lead minister for the position that will be vacated when the current lead minister retires in June, 2014. We are also charged with finding an associate or assistant minister, once the lead minister position has been decided on.

The Search Committee is looking for your input on how our professional ministry team should guide First Church, and where and how you believe First Church needs to be led, in order to move the congregation into a future consistent with the Strategic Plan.

This page is our way of keeping the congregation informed about what the process is in finding new ministers and where we are in that process.