29 September President’s Update

Dear UUFECers,

As many of you know, last Sunday I made a very exciting announcement during the service, on behalf of the Board of Trustees.   We voted unanimously to offer an Interim Ministry contract to the Reverend Karen Matteson and we are delighted that Reverend Karen has accepted. She will begin her service on October 15 at 2/3 time.

Her first Sunday in the pulpit will be October 19, the same day as our Voting Meeting.

I will be sending out more details soon, but wanted to get this info out as soon as possible. For now, I’ll just and end with a message that Rev. Karen asked me to share with the congregation last Sunday.

Thank you. Jane Park, President, UUFEC


Dear UUFEC Members and Friends,

            Congregations, like individuals, are on their own unique journeys.  In the past couple of weeks I’ve met some of your leaders and learned a little about UUFEC’s history and challenges, successes and strengths.  After all the conversations with your Board leaders and after I’d read lots of your official documents and informal newsletters, I knew I wanted to walk with you on the next part of your journey.  So I’m very pleased and excited to be joining you during this time of transition in UUFEC’s life:  as your interim minister. 

            In the coming months you’ll be hearing a lot more about interim ministry and we’ll get to know a bunch more about one another.  For today, though, I thought you’d like to know that ministers designated as “interim” are sometimes called “temporary shepherds.”   [It’s the “temporary” part of that description that may be a new idea for you.  (The “shepherd” part, too, since who’d even try to “sheep-herd” UU’s!)]  It’s a unique time in a congregation’s life that we’ll shape together in the next year.  

            We’ll also be learning about one another in the coming months.   Here are a few things you might like to know today:  I’m a native of Chicago and have had three careers:  at-home parent of four kids; teacher of young children; and Unitarian Universalist minister.  In my nearly 25 years in ministry I’ve served as settled minister in Birmingham AL and with a congregation in Chicago; consulting minister with a young congregation in Aiken, SC; and as interim minister in the Richmond, VA area and in Charlotte, NC.  In each of these places and congregations I’ve had the privilege to know and work beside so many wonderful UU’s. 

            Now, I look forward with great anticipation to getting to know and work alongside you – the staff and leaders, adults and children, members and friends of the UU Fellowship of the Emerald Coast.  

With gratitude – and in faith,