Letter to the Congregation: New Ministry Contract

Dear Ones, 

This is a season of mixed emotions for me as I balance anticipatory grief in leaving you with the delight of having signed a one year renewable contract to serve the Unitarian Universalist Church of the North Hills in the Pittsburgh, PA metropolitan area. It isn’t quite as close to home as I had hoped, but close enough to get home in a long afternoon. They have 183 members and 63 children. Their church is a converted dairy barn! 

We still have the month of June together and I hope that we can make the most of it. Looking forward, I hope to see you at the Gay Pride parade in Fernandina Beach on Saturday morning– details are in the Friday E-blast. I will be preaching from there on Sunday (6/11). The following Sunday (6/18), I’ll be preaching from Virginia on my way to the 2023 UUA General Assembly held in Pittsburgh, of all places. 

We’ll be together in person for the last time on July 2nd. After that, I will be on my way home for some much needed rest and relaxation. I remain UUCJ’s minister until the end of July. 

Article III, Section G of the UUMA Guidelines for the Conduct of Ministry sets out the expectation that once a minister has stopped serving a congregation, that minister will  “exercise particular care to minimize their influence and presence within the congregation. . . There should be no intentional or ministerial contact between a departing minister and members, staff or clients of congregations. . . they have served until there can be a covenant expressed in a Letter of Understanding between predecessor and subsequent ministers.” This has generally been understood to end communications between the minister and individual congregants and staff. I intend to abide by this requirement. I hope you understand.

Having said that, given the current dearth of ministers, there is a perceived need and desire among some ministers (including myself) to support congregations without ministers. Such support might include such things as inviting congregations without ministers to participate in classes, workshops, and special services offered by ministers serving congregations. All of this is very preliminary. If I find that I am able to offer you such support, I will let you know. 

I wish you the very best, you deserve it.

Rev. Lee Anne

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