Link to onrealm.org

Next Steps in Ministerial Search


Have you had the opportunity to view the video of Board Chair Claire Wyneken and Interim Minister Rev. Doug Wadkins discussing the next steps in the search process for a settled minister for Eliot Chapel?



The congregation is being invited to nominate people who would be good candidates for the search team. Here is the link to the survey where you can share your submission.


Do you know someone who would fit the important role of representing Eliot Chapel in this search? In the video, Rev. Doug talks about the qualities that are important in a candidate for the committee:

  • They work well with others.
  • They're able to represent the congregation as a whole.
  • They know, or are willing to learn, the history and culture of the congregation.
  • They are, or have been, active in the congregation and have shown a sense of responsibility in their participation.
  • They can assess and communicate the health and self-awareness of the congregation to potential ministerial candidates.
  • They are trusted.

Be sure to listen to Rev. Doug's full remarks on this and then take Claire's invitation to fill out the survey! Your input is vital to the search process!

Introducing Our New Interim Minister


The Board of Trustees and the Interim Search Committee of Eliot Chapel are thrilled to introduce our new interim minister: Rev. Dr. Douglas Wadkins. Rev. Wadkins will begin his interim ministry on August 1.




Rev. Doug (above) and his dog Moo


Rev. Wadkins, or Rev. Doug, is among the most seasoned interim ministers. After serving long successful stints in settled ministry, he now focuses on interim ministry, which is a service that he finds particularly gratifying. Rev Doug has completed several consecutive two-year interim ministries, most recently in Sarasota, Florida.  


To become better acquainted, check out douglaswadkins.org. Watch for more information in the weeks ahead.


Great News!

Eliot Chapel received four interested ministers!

The search committee interviewed all four candidates and decided that one of them was not a great fit. However, the other three are all wonderful options and Eliot Chapel would be blessed to get any one of them!




(click on the graphic to see a PDF of the information.)


New Minister Search

Rev. Barbara H. Gadon announced her retirement to the Eliot Chapel congregation in early January 2022. Alongside her announcement, Eliot Board Chair Steve Harvey sent a letter to give the community an idea of what lay ahead. You can read those letters here. 

Rev. Barbara will retire at the end of June 2022. We are spending the next few months as a congregation reflecting on all we have been able to accomplish together and honoring her service as our minister while we also ready ourselves for ministerial transition and search. Please check here for the latest information.


Ministerial Transition 101

Eliot Chapel Board Member Steve Harvey gave us updates on our ministerial transition at the end of March. What happens from here? How does this work? What are we going to do? Don't worry – there is a plan in place! Steve covers the basics with us in this video.


New Minister Search Newsletter

The Eliot Board of Trustees released the first New Minister Search Newsletter on March 23. See the original here or read the text below:


Welcome to the first New Minister Search Newsletter! Over the next two years, we will use this newsletter to share the process of hiring a new minister and updates about what’s happening.


Rev. Barbara Gadon will retire at the end of June 2022. We will spend the next few months as a congregation reflecting on all we have been able to accomplish together and honoring her service as our minister. 


We hope that a new interim minister will begin ministry at Eliot on Aug. 1, 2022. 

The Eliot Board of Trustees has begun the search for an interim minister to serve us for two years while we search for the settled minister. 


Who will choose the interim minister? 

The Board of Trustees has selected an interim search committee. The members include: 

Steve Harvey (Board President), Claire Wyneken (Board President-Elect), Chuck Schuder (Board member), Kalen Ponche (Board secretary), and Jennifer Stauber (congregant). The committee will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees who will hire the interim minister.


Why will we have an interim minister?

The Unitarian Universalist Association strongly recommends congregations have a two-year period of interim ministry. An interim minister will help us closely examine what we want and need from our next settled minister. 


Why two years?

According to the UUA, congregations that have at least a 24-month interim ministry period have a much greater success rate (90 percent) at calling a minister following their interim period than congregations doing only a single year of interim ministry (56 percent). Their mantra is “doing it well beats doing it quickly.” We plan to hire a minister on a one-year contract with a plan to renew for a second year if it is mutually agreeable. 


What’s the timeline?

The interim minister search committee will interview interim ministerial candidates in April and May of 2022 and will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees in May. If all goes according to plan, the interim minister will begin work August 1. 


Timeline for Interim Minister

March 2022: Board of Trustees selects interim search committee


April 7, 2022: Candidates for interim ministry can look at Eliot’s profile page on the UUA website. 


May 2022: Interim minister search committee interviews candidates. Interim committee ranks candidates and presents information to the board. Interim candidates rank preferred churches. Board negotiates salary with interim minister. New minister is announced. 


Aug. 1, 2022: Interim minister begins. 


Search for the Settled Minister Timeline

Fall 2022: Interim minister will work with the congregation to identify our challenges, opportunities, and hopes for the future. 


February-April 2023: The settled minister search committee is selected. The process for selecting this committee is to be determined. 


May-August 2023: Search committee retreat


September-November 2023: Congregational focus groups


January-March 2024: Candidate interviews and visits


April 2024: Candidate announced


May 2024: Congregation would vote on candidate 


Aug. 1, 2024: Settled minister will begin ministry. 


Who is eligible to be considered for the interim ministry?

The UUA has a pool of candidates who are trained to serve as interim ministers for Unitarian Universalist churches. An “inside candidate” or a person who is already working for Eliot Chapel cannot be considered for an interim ministry position. 


Who is eligible to be considered for the settled ministry? 

An interim minister cannot be considered for a settled minister position. The Settled Minister Selection Committee can decide to consider an “inside candidate” for the settled minister position. This consideration would happen before the selection committee considers other candidates. 


How can I stay informed about this process? 

Look for regular updates in this newsletter as well as This Week at Eliot. The Board and selection committee will also post updates to the Ministerial Transition page as well. If you have additional questions, please email chair@eliotchapel.org.