Tomorrow at noon — that’s when congregations which choose to use the search process of the the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) can invite a minister to be the final candidate for an open ministry job. This is when we all gather ’round the old-fashioned hot stove, waiting to find out which club snapped up which ball player’s contr… — er — which congregation has snapped up which minister. Or as Hank Peirce puts it: “Who is being invited to be the candidate at what church? Where will those couple of big name ministers who have been sweet talking so many churches actually end up? Who will hire the young minister with little track record? What church is brave enough to call someone they need, and not just someone who makes them look good?”
You can gather round the hot stove in two places this year. Christine Robinson’s hot stove is on her blog. Hank Peirce’s hot stove is on its own Facebook page.
There are rules for decorum whilst sitting around the hot stoves. No fair using insider knowledge to announce a congregation’s candidate before the congregation has made its own official announcement. No bad-mouthing anyone, no ad hominem attacks. However, if a young freewheeling minister gets picked by a big corporate church that will require him/her to cut his/her hair, you may call out “Johnny Damon!” If a minister over 70 snags a plum congregation, you may call out “Phil Niekro!” or “Knuckleballer!” If you think a pick is going to result in a decades-long match with lots of home runs with no steroid use, you may call out “Hank Aaron!”