Dawn Fortune, Interim Minister
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.
- 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
- 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)
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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