From your Board President
I am taking leave as President from the Board of Trustees to be on Grandmother duty and enjoy all the time I can get with my grandson, Theodore. My daughter Ajia is the Minister of the UU Church of the Cumberland Valley in Harrisburg – she needs Grandmother help, and I will be delighted to spend the time with Theodore. If I return soon, I will finish my term. At any rate, I will stay on the Board during this time.
Fortunately, Kathryn Jay has agreed to step in as acting President. She is perfect for this time. She will be working with Rev. Michelle, the church staff, the rest of the Board, and the congregation to advance the mission of our community. Her office hours are Tuesdays in August from 3-5pm, and you may reach her at 360-559-2381 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to all of you who have supported my work. I appreciate all of you.
Introducing our Interim Minister
Our congregation is currently weathering two very significant experiences. As single occurrences, the pandemic and our ministers’ departure are challenging obstacles that have shaken our sense of safety and familiarity. Our path, however, has brought us to encounter them simultaneously. Fortunately, as Unitarian Universalists we embrace and accept uncertainty, recognize the creativity that new opportunities present, and, as a community, have found our way together.
Our dedicated Interim Minister Search Team has culminated their search, and it is my pleasure to announce that The Reverend Dr. Michelle Collins will be our Interim Minister for the next year. I am humbled by the thoughtful and committed way in which you– we– are meeting this challenge, and I believe that Rev. Dr. Collins will skillfully steer us through this uncharted territory.
Rev. Michelle has extensive ministerial experience in pastoral care, social justice, worship and congregational life, membership development, small group ministry, adult religious education, hospital chaplaincy, and communications and publications. Rev. Michelle comes to us from the Lewes and Rehoboth Beach area of Delaware. She is a graduate of Starr King School of Ministry, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and recently received her Doctor of Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. She has served in Unitarian Universalist churches in Maryland, Delaware, and California, as well as at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. She is also a researcher for the Soul Matters monthly theme program.
On the personal side, Rev. Michelle resides in a “tiny house on wheels” which will be making its way west to California quite soon. She is the parent of a teenage daughter and also cares for three highly demanding cats. She also likes reading and tabletop gaming (including playing magic-wielding characters in Dungeons & Dragons).
As your Board of Trustees, we were responsible for setting next steps and considered multiple options. I feel encouraged, after watching her virtual worship service, that Rev. Michelle’s experience and specialized trauma training will serve our beloved community in the precise way we need and seek during this coming year.
I invite you all to watch her preaching here.
Rev. Dr. Collins is looking forward to returning to the Bay Area and can’t wait to see where this time of transition will take us. I hope you will join me, and the Board of Trustees, in welcoming her. She’s looking forward to meeting each of you soon!
–Kerry Simpson, Board President