Rev. Michelle LaGrave, Interim Minister
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,