Interim Process

This page is a reference for the transition process throughout the Interim Ministry.

Please check this page for updates from our Interim Minister, Rev. Dr. Beth Elaine Peresluha.

Transition Team Members: Jen Caswell, Rich Hooks Wayman, Angus Ferguson, Marcy Makinen, and Sammy Riegel-Burbank

To read the bios of the Ministerial Search Committee Nominees, click here.

With the beginning of the Appreciative Inquiry Listening Sessions, First Parish has completed what I call the “sniff phase” of our interim process. We have now entered into our second phase of the interim – talking about what’s on your minds and in your hearts.


We have virtual sessions scheduled for each week in November. We will be adding in-person gatherings on Saturdays and Sundays, starting November 20th. We will continue offering these conversational moments virtually and in-person as long as people are interested in attending.


In January, we will enter Phase 3. The Governing Board and I will discuss the options for selecting a search committee and choose the process for First Parish. The 3 general options are:

• Invite nominations for the Ministerial Search Committee (MSC) from every member of the congregation.
• Invite applications from every member of the congregation who would like to serve on the MSC.
• Create a process that combines both applications and nominations to select the members of the MSC.


The names of candidates for the search committee should be selected by the end of February and presented to the congregation for a vote. The 5-7 people with the most votes will be presented to the congregation at the Annual Meeting for approval and for their charge.


If we are fully in-person in April, the Transition Team and I will offer a weekend workshop, or Appreciative Inquiry Summit, to design and deliver on the ideas and visions you identified during the listening sessions. While the Transition Team is working with you on getting First Parish ready to welcome a new minister, the MSC will be conducting their confidential search for that minister.


The search for a new minister will begin in June of 2022. The MSC will work hard through the Spring of 2023 to find and secure a candidate for settled ministry that fulfills your hopes and dreams. If that person is found, they will spend a week with you in the Spring. They will preach on two Sundays and then present themselves to you for a vote of yes or no to be your next settled minister. My work with you will end when that person arrives in Portland to minister with you.


For more information, or if you have any questions, you can email Rev. Elaine.