Hello from the Northlake interim minister search team! The information on this webpage is very similar to a letter from the search team that members received. This posting is designed to provide an overview of this spring’s search process (see the timeline below) and to invite your participation (see the ways to participate, detailed further below). 

A tray of candles placed in front of a quilt displaying candles

First, some have asked about why Northlake is seeking an interim minister rather than immediately calling our next settled minister. When a settled minister leaves a church, the UUA recommends an interim ministry period of one to two years. This allows time for the congregation to adapt to the departure of a settled minister, reflect on priorities and vision for the future, and prepare for a full search. Calling a settled minister involves participation by the whole congregation and takes an entire year. For example, the congregations that searched for a settled minister in 2023 – 2024 have just completed this year’s hiring cycle in March. In contrast, the process to hire an interim minister occurs between early April and mid-May and is guided by an appointed search team and voted on by the Board.

Here is a rough timeline for what to expect during our interim-minister search process:

    • March 14: Rev. Nancy informed the board of her decision to step down. The board initiated the UUA process for selecting an interim minister.
    • March 19: Northlake entered the pool of churches seeking an interim minister and began working on our congregational packet, which tells potential ministers about us.
    • Early April: Northlake publishes a finalized packet for interim minister candidates to review.
    • April 7: Northlake holds annual elections for the board and nominating committee.
    • April 28: Names of interested interim minister candidates released to the search team.
    • May 13: Search team submits to UUA a ranking of preferred interim minister candidates.
    • May 15: First offer date. 
    • May 19 or earlier: Northlake finalizes its stewardship drive. 
    • June 6: Second offer date (if Northlake did not match with a minister during the first round of offers).
    • May/early June: Northlake and the interim minister negotiate offer terms. 
    • May/June: Interim minister is hired by the board. (When calling a settled minister the full congregation votes, but the UUA recommends a board hiring process for interim ministers.)
    • June 9: Congregational meeting to accept the budget.
    • July 5: Rev. Nancy’s last day with Northlake.
    • August 1: First day of interim minister’s time at Northlake (unless interim minister negotiates a different start date).

During this process, the search team will carefully balance keeping an open flow of information with the congregation while maintaining privacy for the interim minister applicants. We will provide the congregation with an update as we reach each milestone in the above timeline. In the coming weeks, we welcome everyone to communicate their hopes and questions about the future; that is the only way to attract and hire an interim minister who can meet us where we are and inspire us to grow. At the same time, the identity of all ministry applicants must remain strictly confidential. Search team members are not allowed to drop hints or play 20 questions. The UUA maintains very structured application and interview guidelines, and Northlake will adhere to those UUA instructions.

Given that structure, what is the best way to get involved? First, if you have pictures, posters, flyers, or other materials that you think the search team should include as part of Northlake’s packet that applicants will see, please share! You can email the information to any one of the search team members. Also, if you’ve already participated in one of the Committee on Ministry (COM) listening circles, what you shared there will help inform the search process. If you have new or additional thoughts about the upcoming interim ministry, you can reach out in person or over email to any of the search team members. And for those who love a Google form, we have a survey available as well: 

As we mentioned above, the search timeline is tight; for us to make maximum use of your survey responses, please submit by Thursday, April 4th at 11:59pm. 

If you have thoughts or questions, be sure to let us know! This is going to be a busy couple of months, but we hope that through this process we can learn more about each other, grow closer as a church, and find an interim minister candidate who will bring Northlake new experiences and fond memories.


Des P.

Janelle D.

Chris K.

Sarah G.

Janet K.


Dear Northlake UU congregation,

Almost five years ago I was called to serve this church. The vision was to work with you, a congregation that had done the work to ground yourselves in being a loving community, and to see how we could grow into living out our values of spiritually based justice work. And then came COVID. The focus shifted first to survival during the shut-down, and then to revival as we came out of the isolation and rebuilt our connections and relationships.

During these past five years things have shifted in both the church and within me, and I do not think I am the minister who can lead Northlake into the next iteration of what this church will become. I do have every confidence that the church will grow and thrive, deepening the bonds of community life, and moving toward creating a more just world.

For these reasons I will be leaving my ministry at Northlake UU Church, and my time here will end on July 5th. I do this with deep sadness. It has been an honor for me to serve this church community. It has been harder than any of us expected, mostly due to the pandemic, but we survived far better than most congregations. Through this, I have come to know and love so many of the people here, and I have been blessed by all those who have supported and loved me through these years of ministry here.

I am holding the Northlake community in my heart and my prayers as we move into this transition.

With gratitude and love,

Rev. Nancy Reid-McKee


Dear Northlake members and friends,

Last Friday morning, Reverend Nancy Reid-McKee announced to the congregation that her ministry with Northlake will be coming to a close soon. I write today to thank Rev. Nancy for her time with us and to give all of you a snapshot into our next steps.

I am grateful to Reverend Nancy for her ministerial leadership the last four and a half years. She saw us through a particularly tumultuous time for the entire planet. The coronavirus required us to completely rethink how to be together, how to remain in community, and how to gather for events and services. And then we had to rethink everything again when we could start  spending time in person once more.

Rev. Nancy has challenged us to deepen our commitment to building Beloved Community within our church and within the greater metropolitan area. Under her guidance, we have voted to adopt the 8th UU Principle, expanded our full-throated support of trans and non-binary members and neighbors, and demonstrated in support of housing the unhoused. Nancy worked with Northlake Leadership to develop a comprehensive governance structure and drive organizational improvement. These changes, as well as a framework that facilitates both spiritual and practical work, allow us to more effectively live out our mission and vision. This is a pivotal part of Nancy’s legacy with Northlake and the benefits of her ministry will be felt for years to come.

Transitions often come with grief, anxiety, surprise, curiosity, hope, and everything in between. I encourage everyone to come into community to feel and to work through any emotions that come up during this time. We gathered after the service on Sunday this week, and will seek to provide more opportunities to process emotions and be together.We had listening circles earlier this month focused on ministry; the findings from these can be leveraged to reflect upon where Northlake is as a church and determine what we want to do next.

This next period at Northlake will involve change. We have initiated the search for an interim minister, and I am grateful for the efforts of the interim search committee, which has already jumped into action. As that search progresses and Northlake leadership coordinates with the UUA regional staff on the transition process, we the board will provide timely and relevant updates to the congregation. In the next few weeks, we will share FAQ’s and a timeline regarding the ministerial transition and interim search processes.

Much like when Rev. Jim guided us through our last interim transition, we will be taking this next period to learn and grow as a congregation, and to clarify what it is we most wish for in our shared future. Rev. Nancy plans to stay with us until early July to help guide us into this transitionary period, and I am grateful for her commitment to give the congregation the gift of loving closure.

I will miss Rev. Nancy’s vision, passion, energy and humor, and I speak for the full board in wishing her happiness in her next adventure. We have no doubt that Rev. Nancy will continue to fight for social justice and radical truth-telling for years to come.  I look forward to exploring this next phase at Northlake with all of you.

Best Wishes,

Galen LaPlante

Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church President of the Board