“Letter of Understanding” between Amy, Cat, and Dan

Amy, Cat, and Dan all want to give Cat’s new ministry at the UU Church of Palo Alto (UUCPA) a chance to take root. They also want to help Dan’s new ministry at First Parish in Cohasset, Mass., take root. UUA regional staffer Melissa James suggested that to help both these new ministries flourish, any contact between Dan and UUCPA will be channeled through Amy and Cat for at least two years. The actual timing will depend on what happens in those first two years, because both Dan and Cat have been hired with the option for the congregation to call them after their first year. If and when their statuses with their respective congregations change, Cat and Dan, together with Amy, will decide on the time needed to let this new status take root.

We hope members, friends, and staff of UUCPA see why the three of us feel this agreement is so important. While we bound by professional guidelines to enter into this agreement, we’re more concerned with the health and well-being of the Palo Alto and Cohasset congregations. We want both congregations to have the time and space to nurture their new ministries.

Some practical details: We hope the members, friends, and staff of UUCPA will help us make this happen. If anyone from UUCPA needs to contact Dan, please send your request to Amy and Cat. If it seems important and pressing, Amy and Cat will forward the request (though given the responsibilities of his new ministry Dan can’t promise a response). At the same time, if for any reason Dan needs to contact someone at UUCPA, he’ll send that request through Amy and Cat.

More practical details: If someone from UUCPA sends Dan an email, he’ll forward it unread to Amy and Cat, so it can be channeled through them. On social media, Dan will unfollow UUCPA people, and have UUCPA people unfollow him. Rather than reading texts or responding to voicemail, Dan will notify Amy and Cat of the contact and let them follow up with the sender. Of course, if someone from UUCPA happens to see Dan at a denominational event, like General Assembly, it’s fine to say hi, remembering that Dan’s primary attention is going to be on his new congregation.