Samuel Schaal is a career Transitional Minister serving congregations in shorter term consulting pastorates. He began serving Emerson as Transitional Assistant Minister in September 2018 following Rev. Mark Edmiston Lange’s death a year earlier. He brings his consulting skills to help the church move through the transition following Mark’s death and to assist leadership in discerning staffing needs in the future. His program portfolio includes pastoral care (with the Lay Pastoral Ministry Team), welcome and integration of newcomers (with the Membership Committee) and generosity (with the Stewardship Committee).
Growing up unchurched in the Texas Panhandle, he was nonetheless a religious seeker. Moving to Dallas to follow his career in public relations and communications, he couldn’t find a religious tradition that supported his searching spirit until he found First Unitarian Church. There he found a welcoming, affirming and committed congregation. Within his first year he felt called to ministry and earned his Master of Divinity degree cum laude from Perkins School of Theology at SMU in 1997 and was ordained in 1998. Over the years he has developed an interest in the intersection of money and spirit, so financial stewardship is one of his specialties. He holds the Registered Life Planner© designation from the Kinder Institute of Life Planning and has also worked in financial planning to help clients develop clarity and ease around their relationship to money.
He has served UU congregations in Texas, Missouri and Wisconsin, and is completing his Accredited Interim Minister designation. His vocational mission is to work with congregations in transition to manage change and prepare for new possibility.