Forum – Inge Detweiler the BUU Minster Candidate

On Wednesday, January 31 at 2:00 PM, at the Borderlands Unitarian Universalist Church in Amado, the BUU Search Team and Board are hosting an opportunity for you to hear from our ministerial candidate, Inge Detweiler. We will hear from her directly and she will answer any questions you may have.

We hope you can be a part of this forum. There will also be a social Meet & Greet with Inge immediately after the forum.

Letter from Russ Peterson

My Fellow BUU Members
By now you all should have read, heard, or both, that thanks to the good work of Diane Farone, Michael Karl, Bruce Sillers, Judy Harmer and Martha House, BUU has identified an excellent candidate to be our minister. Her name is Inge Detweiler. The fact that the search committee was able to make this recommendation is such a short time is testament to three things; a bit of luck; the fact that BUU is an integral part of the BAJA 4 as Reverend Bethany, the minister at UUCT recommended Inge; and the diligence of the search committee. One of the things I knew before I became president of the board is that so much of the important work of this church is done by its members. That knowledge has been reinforced time and time again during the year and one/half I have served as president. A number of people have complimented me on helping the church move forward. Compliments are nice, but in this case they miss the mark. The truth is that things get done because individuals and groups of individuals make things happen: gallery displays, concerts, book discussions, men’s club, women’s retreat. The list could go on and on. All these activities happen because of the energy of you all. Or as Seth taught us “All y’all.”

And now we are preparing to take another step forward, hiring a new minister. As you are learning, you will have a chance to meet Inge at a meet and greet on January 31. You’ll have a chance to ask questions, and probably a chance to answer some of her questions of you. And of course, there will be time to socialize afterward. Please attend this wonderful opportunity on January 31st and 2:00pm. You are this church. We need you to help show Inge who we are. We need you to help BUU keep moving forward.

See you there!
Russ Peterson
BUU Board of Directors President

BUU’s Search Process

Diane Farone, Search Team Chair In September the Worship Arts Team requested that the Board authorize the formation of a Search Team for a contract minister, which request was granted. A team was created with Diane Farone, Martha House, Bruce Sillers, Michael Karl and Judy Harmer. Our work began with compiling the profile information required to post our opening on the UUA website. The posting was activated in early December. We have not received any responses to that posting. We began with considering the criteria for evaluating a candidate. We wanted a UU minister. We wanted a full-time minister but were willing to consider a three-quarter time position but were willing to consider part time. We also held a Forum that included gathering congregational feedback about priorities we needed for BUU in a minister. The results of that survey indicated a clear preference for Sunday service delivery, pastoral care, and general leadership of the congregation. In November we had an inquiry from Inge Detweiler about how she might help us while we are between ministers. She was referred to us by Rev. Bethany, minister at UUC Tucson, where Inge had been attending for over a year. Inge was interested in becoming our contract minister on a part time basis. We worked on designing what three-quarter time would look like, and Inge responded with some excellent ideas of her own about how it could work. She and her references convinced us she is quite capable of fulfilling the functions we need within a three quarter time position. Inge was ordained in the UCC denomination but has applied for admission into the UU Minister’s Association as an Associate, which would make her dually qualified as a UU minister, as well as a UCC minister. Her theological preference is UU. She has only one step remaining, to have an online interview with Boston. We contacted six references, who knew Inge in different contexts. Information from references convinced us Inge has a skill set and style that would be an excellent fit for us. We held a lengthy interview with her and made a positive recommendation to the Board at its January meeting. We see Inge as having good strengths in pastoral care, approachability, and creativity. She has a counseling background in behavioral health and in hospital and hospice chaplaincy. She delivered a Sunday service at BUU in December that was well received. She also has had experience administering a large behavioral health company and impressed us with her strategic and tactical thinking.

Minister Survey Results

Since last week we received some additional survey forms and have updated our analysis of the results from 25 people who responded to a survey of what people think are the top five priorities for what BUU needs from a minister.

The New Results are much clearer – no ties, and the order of priorities is the same in both ways we looked at the answers. One way was the number of people who included a particular role for the minister in their top five priorities and the other is the average ranking for that role.

Here are the results:

1. Presenting inspiring and challenging Sunday services – included by 23 out of 25 as
one of their top 5 priorities. Average ranking – 1.09
2. Pastoral role – 20 out of 25 included it as one of their top 5, average ranking – 1.25
3. Leading the overall ministry of our congregation – 16 of 25 included it in their top
5 – average ranking – 1.56
4. Fostering a sense of community – 15 of 25 included it in their top 5 – average
ranking – 3.33
5. Encouraging social justice programs – 13 of 25 included it in their top 5 – average
ranking – 3.85

The BUU Minister Survey

In December 2023, the Search Team developed a survey form for what we need in a minister to make a good match for BUU. In it we considered data from three in-service surveys we have had at BUU:


      1. September 2022, concerning our UU Six Sources and what interested people and what they wanted more of;
      2. May 2023, concerning Rev. Seth’s series on water metaphors and how the many forms, uses and challenges of water translate into our lives; and
      3. October 2023, concerning what we learned from our summer/fall series of services focused on our sensations and on sacred spaces, including suggestions for future services and activities. Did reading and hearing about these congregational needs as described by the Search Team lead to any changes in how you would prioritize what we, as a congregation, most need from a minister?