|4 = those functions in which you are gifted and expert|
|3 = those in which you are accomplished|
|2 = those in which you are competent|
|1 = those in which you have little experience|
|4 = those functions on which you are urgently moved to focus|
|3 = those to which you wish to give energy|
|2 = those to which you will give adequate attention|
|1 = those which you would prefer to ignore|
|Skl: 4||Int: 3||Administration||Skl: 4||Int: 4||Personal counseling|
|Skl: 4||Int: 4||Adult religious education||Skl: 4||Int: 4||Preaching|
|Skl: 3||Int: 4||Children’s religious education||Skl: 3||Int: 2||Scholarship|
|Skl: 3||Int: 2||Committee work||Skl: 3||Int: 3||Social action|
|Skl: 3||Int: 4||Community building||Skl: 3||Int: 3||Spiritual guidance|
|Skl: 4||Int: 4||Staff relations||Skl: 4||Int: 3||Denominational activities|
|Skl: 4||Int: 4||Facilitation||Skl: 4||Int: 4||Worship|
|Skl: 3||Int: 3||Fund-raising||Skl: 3||Int: 3||Youth work|
|Skl: 4||Int: 3||Home visitation||Skl: 3||Int: 4||Inclusiveness|
|Skl: 4||Int: 3||Hospital calling||Skl: 3||Int: 3||Anti-Racism|
|Skl: 3||Int: 4||Leadership development||Skl: 4||Int: 3||Small Group Ministry|
|Skl: 3||Int: 3||Membership growth||Skl: 3||Int: 3||Special Needs Issues|
|Skl: 3||Int: 4||Music and liturgical arts|
What is your approach to the religious education of children, youth, and adults?
As a lay person I participated a great deal in RE programs and have seen how they can positively impact both children and adults. I believe RE programs may be the biggest reason for growth in congregations. As a minister, I have worked closely with our DRE to actively support RE programs, and champion innovative and unique programs when possible. At NSUU we experimented with multi-generational RE with some success. We’ve had creative Children’s Chapel for all ages. This past year, our DRE led a creative and valuable Coming-of-Age program for the youth which culminated in a worship service for the whole congregation. The DRE and I have collaborated on multigenerational worship as well. One area that I see as often overlooked or neglected is volunteer teacher training and support. This is both because it is hard to do and many times requires one-on-one coaching. I think it is vital, though, for the effectiveness of a program. As a minister, I enjoy teaching adult RE classes, including both UUA curriculum and ones I’ve devised. I also love interaction with the kids and youth both in worship and outside.
What do you see as the role of music and the arts in the life of a congregation?
Although I am not a musician, music is very important to me as a minister. Music is a key element in creating a good worship experience. Music, both for listening and for singing, can do much more than the spoken word to affect people’s hearts. I really miss it when it’s not there, and I do think it can be a tremendous help in drawing in new people. A good music program can be a source of fund-raising, connections with the community, and attracting people to come and stay once they’ve visited. Incorporating visual art, drama and movement into services is something I would love to do more often. It gives people a chance to share in a more soulful and creative way with each other. It can also be a wonderful approach to creating multigenerational worship experiences.
What involvement do you desire in the stewardship of a congregation, most particularly its financial affairs?
I anticipate being involved as an advisor in Board meetings about financial affairs. I would also participate in stewardship services, preaching about money and stewardship, as well as asking for pledges and participating in fundraisers. I am quite open to talking about money, especially in congregations that have difficulty talking about it and would hope in that case to reduce the stigma and guilt associated with money that we all often share. I have canvassed members directly at times, especially long-time members who no longer attend services but continue to provide substantial financial support. I have also played a role in recognizing and appreciating members who provide substantial financial support. At times, working with lay leadership, I have been an active participant in brainstorming creative and new approaches to fundraising. Given the right mind set, this can be an energizing and fun experience.
Theological orientation: What is your dominant theology, and how do you deal with other Unitarian Universalist theologies with which you may not be in sympathy?
My beliefs are a hybrid of religious humanist and naturalistic theist views of the world. I use the word ‘God’ rarely when I am reaching for that connection with the whole – the All of all. The essence of this for me is that we are a part of the whole of nature and not separate from it. We belong. I enjoy reclaiming religious language and teachings and do not have difficulties incorporating them into my meditations, prayers and sermons. I also am sensitive to the painful associations some people have with religious language and can say what I mean without using the word ‘God’ or ‘spirit’ oftentimes as well. I welcome differing views and can offer worship that is meaningful to a broad range of theological views. I am mindful of exclusive gender and oppressive language and am willing to edit texts if needed to make them more inclusive.
Additional information: Finish introducing yourself in any way you would like to.
I welcome the opportunity to serve a congregation that is actively engaged with each other and the greater community. My experience with my daughter has made me aware of “other-ness” and the joys, fears and problems of radical inclusion. I have relatively recently embarked on a relationship with a woman after having been exclusively heterosexual. We were married in May 2012. This turn of events has made me more aware of how much categories fail to capture the complex realities of human nature and relationship. This confirms for me the need to accept people on their own terms without judgment. I am also a cancer survivor, which has given me some understanding of how cancer affects persons and families. My experiences so far in ministry have re-affirmed for me that this is work that I love deeply. I look forward to hearing from and about you.
Printed packet available upon request.