On February 3, 2022, the CUCC Deacons came to a unanimous decision to recommend that CUCC calls Śānti Matthews as Associate Pastor of CUCC. Now, the congregation must vote to determine whether we will call Śānti to that position. On February 27, immediately following service, we will have a congregational meeting to vote on a single issue, whether we, as a congregation, will call Śānti Matthews to be an associate pastor of CUCC.

There was much discussion of this issue at the January Congregational meeting as well as discussion during the January Council meeting and the February Deacons meeting. Below, are words our Deacons chair, Susan Hasbrouck, shared with the Deacons at their meeting to discern whether a recommendation to call would be made.

This is an exciting time at CUCC with many opportunities awaiting our congregation. Please take the next two weeks to discern on your own whether this is an opportunity you feel our church should pursue. If you have questions or concerns you would like to process prior to the meeting, please reach out to our Moderator, Laurel Powell at cucccouncil@gmail.com or our chair of Deacons, Susan Hasbrouck at Susanhas@gmail.com.

Submitted by Laurel Powell, Moderator of CUCC


Words from Susan Hasbrouck to Our Deacons

Our bylaws state: “If the Deacons ministry so requests, with the approval of the congregation, the Personnel Committee shall form a hiring committee in consultation with the Pastor to hire an Associate Pastor. An Associate Pastor is not an Officer of the church and does not have the authority of a Pastor as outlined in the Constitution and Bylaws. An Associate Pastor reports to the Head of Staff (who is Lacey), and is subject to the personnel policies that apply to staff.”

The circumstances we’re considering with Santi are not an exact match to the new-hire scenario described in the bylaws. It is the guide we have, however, and is close enough that the Personnel Committee and others still felt it was appropriate for the Deacons to discuss the matter and bring a recommendation to Council.

My thoughts on the subject… I do understand and respect that the traditional process begins with the church body doing their best to discern the needs of the congregation, find the person with the right combination of talents, then grant a spiritual imprimatur to that choice with a formal call. So, typically, a church is in the position of seeking a solution to existing needs.

The current situation we’re being asked to address begins at a different, enviable point. We are being asked to recognize the gifts Spirit has already placed in our midst that are already meeting our needs with abundance.

Santi has been at CUCC for fourteen years and has never been complacent, but rather has always been committed to learning and growing and becoming an increasingly integral part of our structure. Good for her and good for us! We have asked and she has always responded, and she has offered before we could even ask. If we’re looking at this from purely an employment perspective, it’s all we could want and more from a staff member; for them to be growing personally and professionally and for us, the church, to be the beneficiary of that growth.

If you haven’t had a chance to read Santi’s current job description, I would encourage you to do so. It’s incredibly extensive and wide ranging. What I feel absolutely certain about, is that if we were to find ourselves without Santi, in order to replace her, we would be forming a search committee and writing a job description that anyone out there would read and assume was for an associate pastor.

As laypeople, we are not being asked to decide whether she should be ordained. The UCC body has already determined that she is absolutely qualified and fit for ordination. We’re being asked to acknowledge and formalize what already exists, with a call.

We have to admit that church is an interesting blend of the spiritual and business worlds. Santi has, on her own, undertaken this deeply personal and spiritual journey, with great success. The final step is for us to make the formal decision to celebrate, acknowledge, and accept her gifts with gratitude and ordination.


Find documents for our congregational meeting in your Breeze profile.




Documents for your consideration can be found in your Breeze profile’s Useful documents section.  If you have trouble accessing them, please contact Jane Smith at smithjeg@mindspring.com.