The General Assembly (GA) of our Unitarian Universalist Association is convening in Providence, Rhode Island, on June 25-29. It hasn’t come this close to home since GA in Boston in 2003. Give some serious thought to attending for a day or the entire event. For detailed information, go to: www.uua.org/ga.
GA is the annual meeting of our Association of Congregations… and it is so much more: five days of inspirational worship, impressive speakers, glorious music, workshops, activities and programs for adults, children and youth… and that’s just for starters. This year’s theme – Love Reaches Out – is designed to help us grow in spirit and in service, to help us follow our own paths to serve the world with love.
Perhaps you would like to go as an elected delegate to represent First Parish in Needham registering our vote for the issues that will be brought before the assembly. If so, speak to Wendy Blom, Katie Lee, or any member of the Parish Committee.
Your ministerial search committee has reached the point in the process where “the rubber meets the road,” as it were, and we start to have hard(er) conversations about this church and about the applicants we are considering.
We are pleased to announce that, as of January 25, we have narrowed the field to four highly qualified ‘pre-candidates,’ about whom we are all excited. They will be coming to the Needham area to interview in-person and to preach at nearby churches, so that we (the Search Committee) can see them in the pulpit. This is a very exciting and fun (and busy!) time to be a member of the Search Committee, and we are thankful for the trust and confidence you have placed it us. We look forward to the day when we can announce a candidate and introduce him/her to the congregation.
Those of you who were at church last Sunday heard me say during the announcements that all I could tell you was that nineteen ministers had applied to be our next minister. It turns out that’s not quite true.
TWENTY ministers applied (making us second only to a church in Chicago for number of applicants).
And, in case you’re curious, here’s a smattering of information about the applicants as a group:
They range in age from their late 20s to their early-to-mid 60s
They include ministers from all along the gender spectrum
They include ministers from all along the sexual-orientation spectrum
They include ministers up and down the East Coast, in the middle of the country, and on the West Coast
They include recent seminary graduates, and those who have been ordained for over a decade
Their theologies cover the range of UU belief systems – humanism, theism, panentheism. process theology, unitarianism, universalism, and others (and combinations of some or all of these. Don’t worry if you don’t know what some of these words mean – I didn’t either. Just know it’s a wide range of belief systems.
They come from a wide range of religious backgrounds – Christian, Jewish, Atheist, and UU to name a few
They come from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds as well
But one thing they all have in common: they are all their own selves, not defined by any of the categories I list above. Also, they are all kind, good-hearted people who, right now, seem to want nothing more than to engage in parish ministry and to find the right congregation with which to do so.
I’d say we’re off to a pretty good start. Stay tuned for more information.
The documentary Inequality for All will be shown at First Parish on Sunday evening, January 11, 2015. The film, which features former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, documents the causes and consequences of rising economic inequality in the United States. The topic is serious, but the film is very entertaining and accessible. The movie will start at 6pm and will be followed by a discussion. The event will end at 8pm. Child care will be provided during the movie so that parents of young children will be able to attend.