A great big, virtual hello to all of you! I am Sara Elizabeth (she/her), and I am thrilled to join the staff at First Parish in Needham as the Director of Lifespan Religious Exploration. I am coming into this position with professional experience in the field of children’s mental health as well as 7 years of coordinating the high school age youth program at the Unitarian Universalist church in nearby Milton, MA. Though I did not grow up UU, I have a deep passion for our faith and am currently finishing my second year of seminary at Starr King School for the Ministry in California as a distance learning student. I hope to bring to this congregation my commitment to social justice and UU values, a trauma-informed lens of care as we begin the long process of emerging from this pandemic, and a sense of enthusiastic whimsy and creativity to our Religious Exploration offerings. I come to y’all having originally grown up in Texas with many Southern recipes up my sleeve, though I have lived on the East Coast for a decade and am well acquainted with the unique charm of Massachusetts. I currently live with my wife, 3 cats, and 2 dogs in our home on the Rhode Island – Massachusetts border. In my spare time, I love cross stitching, telling stories, and playing Dungeons and Dragons. This is such an exciting time, and I cannot wait to meet each of you in this beloved community.