Frank and Roberta are committed to acting in the best interests of the congregation. We therefore enter into this covenant, based on UUMA (Unitarian Universalist Minister’s Association) Guidelines and currently understood best practices, for the duration of the term of interim ministry. Frank will enter into a new covenant with the settled minister after he or she is called by the congregation.
We recognize that the very length and effectiveness of Frank’s ministry creates challenges for his successor; we also recognize that Frank’s experience represents a special resource for both the interim minister and the newly called minister. To assure a healthy relationship between Frank, as Emeritus Minister, and the congregation and it’s ministers, we will work together in the following ways:
Frank will generally absent himself from congregational activities for the duration of the interim. He will be invited to be present on special occasions when he and Roberta mutually feel that his presence is appropriate.
All the usual ministerial duties and privileges of the Senior Minister now rest with Roberta. Frank’s position as Minister Emeritus entitles him to delegate status at General Assembly; his name and Emeritus status will be included on the congregational letterhead and any other such institutional publications.
Frank and Roberta recognize the value of being in conversation about the life of the congregation and will consult regularly and openly.
During the interim period, Frank will refrain from conducting rites of passages for current Members or active Friends, directing any requests for memorials, weddings, or child dedications to Roberta. With Roberta’s invitation he may choose to participate in memorial services and other rites of passage of congregants and their families.
In the case of non-members, Frank will be free to preside at memorials and weddings that are not conducted at the Unitarian Church in Westport, informing Roberta of such services when he feels they might impact the life of the congregation.
The most difficult situations may arise when people whom Frank knows well are ill, in mourning, or in need of pastoral care. In such circumstances Frank will defer to Roberta, who will, in return, handle such situations with compassionate understanding, taking into account the unique circumstances of each.
In summary, Roberta and Frank will be guided by what they believe to be in the best interests of the congregation.
Roberta Finkelstein, Interim Minister
Frank Hall, Minister Emeritus