UUCWC’s Ministerial Resident

On Sunday, March 5th, Pam Shadzik, Acting President of UUCWC, announced an exciting next step for our congregation. Her announcement, along with additional words from Rev. Kim, are below.

“It is with huge joy and enthusiasm that I share the news that we have made an offer (that has been accepted) to Susan Talcott Flynn to be UUCWC’s Ministerial Resident (or Intern Minister) next church year.

Though Susan will be our first ever Ministerial Resident, this process of becoming a Teaching Congregation has been a dream here for almost a decade.  It was never quite the right time…until now.

Last year the Personnel Committee met with many groups and leaders within the congregation to discuss a 5 year staffing plan.  Through that process it became clear that an Intern Minister was a priority, and also that we were ready for this long awaited step.  As you may remember from last year’s Annual Meeting, we put some seed money in last year’s budget to enter into the UUA’s search process, and received a UUA grant that celebrated what a strong congregation we are and what great potential we have as a teaching site.  After interviewing five candidates, we offered the position to Susan, who was our first choice candidate, and who will begin in a full time, 10 month role beginning in August.

A bit of background on Susan, as she describes herself.  She was born and raised outside of Boston Massachusetts; where she was raised a Unitarian Universalist at the West Newton church.  In fact, the Unitarian heritage of her mother’s family extends back at least four generations.

After completing a psychology degree at Earlham College Susan served as an Employment Specialist for twelve years working with people who were differently-abled. She says that during that time she was educated in understanding her own able-ism, while working to build community through vocational support, health care advocacy, and overall empowerment of the people she worked beside.  While she found this work incredibly satisfying she felt the call to ministry and spirituality in a larger way.

This is truly a defining moment for this congregation, one that reflects our current energy, commitment and growth and opens all kinds of possibilities for us.

Many, many thanks to the members of the Search Committee, who will become Susan’s Support Committee: Tim Murphy (team leader), Michael Waas, Regina Zilinksi, and Connie Rafle, who had to do a lot of very focused, high quality work very quickly in order for UUCWC to arrive at this exciting moment.”

Rev. Kim added:  “We know that many folks don’t yet know what it means to be a Teaching Site or what it will mean to have a Ministerial Resident.  The Personnel and Search Committees will be holding Information Sessions in May to answer your questions and prepare the congregation for this exciting step.  You can of course ask Rev. Kim any questions in the interim or after.

It is also important to note that we’ve intentionally been using the word “resident” rather than “intern.”  Folks often associate the word “intern” with menial work and lack of experience.  Susan will be arriving like a Medical Resident; someone who will be learning the work of ministry by doing it.  We are accountable to her process and, if done responsibly, we will help ready her to serve her own congregation the following year.  In turn, we will have another minister, a student yes, but another minister who will help in areas of congregational life that are needed.  Rev. Kim will be preaching about this opportunity and commitment in the coming weeks.”