As we move through the holidays toward the new year and the light returning to our days, I wanted to share a letter included in the Congregational Record for our potential new minister. You will find it below. The Board is concentrating on Safer Congregation, the budget and canvass for 2019, and preparing for Candidating Week in April.
With hope, Karen
“Thank you for visiting the Congregational Record for our settled minister search at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst Massachusetts. Like so many wonderful UU congregations, our congregation embodies the goodness and depth of commitment Unitarian Universalists overall express in this beautiful, beloved, and troubled world. Members and friends are ready to meet the needs of others through participation in any number of vibrant committees and task forces including pastoral care, a community breakfast program, and social justice work—you name it, we are here for one another as caring humans and committed UUs. Our congregants also work on their personal faith journeys through music, religious education, and worship, and in communication with each other. We want to make a difference in the world and we are eager to have a faith leader to help us center, rejuvenate, and step back out into the world as spiritually grounded leaders for positive change.
Our three-year interim period has helped the congregation better understand and embrace diversity in leadership, worship, and outreach. Our interim period has also helped us better understand Unitarian Universalism’s unique message, embracing ethos, and powerful impetus toward social change and spiritual wholeness. As a Board, the interim period has helped us better understand and implement strong systems while maintaining flexibility, communication on all levels including the ongoing financial needs of our growing congregation, and our responsibility for keeping the ship steady as we navigate change. Our Board also embraces a spiritual leadership that helps us remember always that we are doing the work we do in support of our beloved faith community.
Our congregation is eager to welcome a new, settled minister to help us work toward and realize the vision of a deep, powerful, outward-reaching and inward-nourishing ministry that will continue to amplify the message of Unitarian Universalism: to Learn, Love, Work, Give, Hope. We are eager to find a person who can help us be our best selves as Unitarian Universalists.
Our congregation has been central to the lives of so many people for so many years. The centrality of its meaning can be seen not only in the good work of the congregants, but also in the building itself. Located in the heart of downtown Amherst, we recently renovated and expanded our space—especially adding an industrial kitchen and hospitality area with our community breakfast outreach in mind. As we move into the future, our Sunday worship space is filled nearly to capacity and we hope to explore ways to widen our embrace of all who seek our inclusive message.
Western Massachusetts is a wonderful place to live. Whether you are in town, or in the surrounding hill towns, the communities that make up the greater Amherst area are filled with people who are interesting, interested, and committed to sustainable lifestyles and welcoming diversity. My family moved to Amherst eight years ago from Augusta, Maine, where we were part of a vibrant UU community. We were so happy to find this faith community surrounded by so many good people.”
I hope you’ll find our Congregational Record useful in considering opportunities for your own future. I wish you the very best in your own search.
Karen Fisk, President, UUSA Board of Trustees