Greetings, Everyone!

I am writing to introduce myself to you as your new Interim Minister but first I want to say how excited I am to be joining you on this journey!  Welcoming in an interim minister can be both exciting and challenging, especially after you have had a settled minister for as long as you all have had.  Things will be different, especially in the beginning, by the simple nature of my being a different person from your former minister.  There will be lots to do over the coming year or two, but first we will take some time to start to get to know each other.  I’ll begin by sharing a bit about myself and my family.

 

I am a New England native boldly adventuring around the country and serving our UU congregations as an interim minister, a calling I embrace whole-heartedly.  I have just finished serving two years as the Interim Minister at the First Unitarian Church of Omaha, Nebraska.  To go back to the beginning of my ministry story, while earning a Master of Divinity degree at Andover Newton Theological School, I completed my Clinical Pastoral Education at Griffin Hospital in Derby, CT; worked as an Interim Director of Religious Education at First Parish in Dorchester, MA; and served as Ministerial Intern at the First Parish in Framingham, MA.  Since then, I have served as a Sabbatical Minister for the UU Church of Greater Bridgeport, as a Developmental Minister for a congregation in central Massachusetts, and as a short-term interim-ish minister at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Decatur, Illinois.  Before moving to Illinois, I continued my Clinical Pastoral Education with a chaplain residency at Bridgeport Hospital, a regional trauma center, and the state’s only burn unit.  I received Final Fellowship in 2014.  I am currently an Accredited Interim Minister in Training.  (AIMIT)

 

Prior to pursuing my calling to ministry, I worked in a variety of non-profit early education, museum, and hospice settings.  I also hold an MS degree in Early Childhood Education, Child Development, and Leadership from Wheelock College and a BA degree in History and Anthropology from Connecticut College.  I see my calling to interim ministry as a natural culmination of my life’s interest in working with and empowering people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.

 

I met my spouse, Micah, in seminary where we happened to take the same class on pastoral care for GLBTQ people.  After almost a year of dating, Micah came out as transgender and began the long process of transitioning from female to male.  We were married a couple of years later in a joyous celebration on the beach where we stood with our feet in the ocean while sharing vows we had written ourselves.  We now share a home with our well-loved cats and my service dog, Bella, who assists me with mobility.  I enjoy spending time on the beach, reading mysteries, doing puzzles, and playing card and board games at home with Micah.  Micah and I have both been actively involved in local GLBTQ organizations and served as adult leaders to a GLBTQ youth group, supported a Sister Church relationship, engaged in anti-racism work, and volunteered at local food pantries.  I was raised in a Congregational (UCC) church, considered converting to Judaism, and ultimately joined a Unitarian Universalist congregation in northern Maine as a young adult.  While in seminary I enjoyed studying Hebrew and worshiping with a local Jewish Renewal congregation.  My spiritual practices currently include meditative art and writing.  Micah is a member of Unity Church and is working toward ordination in that denomination with the intention of becoming a chaplain.

 

I look forward to meeting all of you soon!

 

In faith and with love,

 

Rev. Michelle