In Interim Ministry, there are specific tasks that a minister and congregation work to complete over a set period of time, typically one or two years. An Interim Minister is a short-term settlement by design. As such, I have a little more freedom to push and encourage a congregation to do the deep work of personal, spiritual, and organizational growth.

In my work as Interim, my role is to companion the congregation through processes, as follows:

  • claiming and honoring its past and engaging and honoring its griefs and conflicts
  • recognizing its unique identity and its strengths, needs, and challenges
  • clarifying the appropriate leadership roles of minister(s), church staff, and lay leaders, and navigating the shifts in leadership that may accompany times of transition
  • making appropriate use of Regional, UUA, and other outside resources
  • proudly coming into possession of a renewed vision and strong stewardship, prepared for new growth and new professional leadership, ready to embrace the future with anticipation and zest

As part of my role, I pledge to NOT make myself available to be Emerson’s next called minister. Rebound relationships are typically as ill-advised for congregations and ministers as they are for romantic partners. An Interim helps a congregation get clear about who and where they are, get some ideas about where and how they’d like to grow, and prepare them to call a settled minister who is a good match for them and the goals they have set. 

Background:

  • Grew up Irish Catholic in Maine and Massachusetts
  • Came out as LGBT in the late 1980s
  • Worked as newspaper reporter, photographer, and editor; bridge worker; a member of the Sheet Metal Workers union; bus driver; restaurant cook; and political fundraiser and organizer
  • “Discovered” Unitarian Universalism in college through a class assignment
  • Received a call to ministry in January 2010 and enrolled in seminary that September
  • Studied one year at the now-closed Bangor Theological Seminary in Bangor, Maine, before transferring to Andover Newton Theological School in the Boston area to seek experience in urban settings

Credentials:

  • Master of Divinity degree and Graduate Certificate in Spiritual and Pastoral Care from Andover Newton Theological School, Newton, Mass.
  • Will be ordained on Nov. 1, 2015, by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Belfast (Maine)

Experience:

  • Emerson Unitarian Universalist Chapel, Ellisville, Mo.
  • Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Fremont, Calif.
  • First Parish in Brookline (Mass.) Unitarian Universalist
  • Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Milford (Mass.)
  • The Chaplaincy Center, Providence, R.I.
  • Universalist Unitarian Church of Haverhill (Mass.)

Education:

  • B.A. degree from the University of Maine at Farmington
  • M.Div. degree from Andover Newton Theological School
  • Graduate Certificate in Spiritual and Pastoral Care from Andover Newton Theological School
  • Graduate Certificate in Sexuality and Religion (in process) at Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, Calif.

Personal:

  • Lives with zir partner, Jennifer, who is a massage therapist, and with a small dog named Quinn
  • Maintains a spiritual practice of creating art in various forms—welded steel, broken-tile mosaics, wood, and food
  • Identifies as genderqueer; uses “ze/hir” or “they/them” pronouns
  • Recently celebrated 30 years of recovery from alcoholism