First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia ~ Welcome home!

Gratitude & Goodbyes from your Student Minister

I know September seems like it was only yesterday -- but believe it or not, this Sunday, May 19, I will participate in my very last worship service as your Student Minister at First U.

My Student Ministry in this congregation fulfilled the field education requirement for my program at Harvard Divinity School -- which I'll graduate from (finally!) on May 30.  I was so excited to focus this learning year around my passion for urban and contextual ministry -- working with lay leaders on the Social Justice and Multicultural Ministry Teams, and with my staff and ministry colleagues in presenting Sunday morning worship services.  I learned a lot about preaching and worship, fundraising and mobilizing volunteers, and building community partnerships this year, but I also learned a few things from all of you that I never would have expected to learn... including:

  • how to remove a tree stump from the ground on a cold day in January;
  • how to make awesome rainbow handprints while fingerpainting;
  • how to use a picture of Jon Hamm as a Sunday morning sermon illustration; and of course,
  • methods for the proper application of glitter to papier-mâché beets.  

I want to thank  Nicole Haines and Ranwa Hammamy for their leadership on both of the ministry teams with which I worked most closely, and offer my deep appreciation to all of the members of each team for making me feel incredibly welcome, and for helping me learn from and internalize the culture and great vision of this congregation.  I also want to thank Rev. Nate and Rev. Addae for giving their time as my co-supervisors, providing many hours of thoughtful guidance as I integrated my experiences as Student Minister with my own sense of call and ministerial formation.  

It has truly been an honor to get to know each and every one of you this year.  As some of you remember, I preached my very first sermon before this congregation in the summer of 2010, before I even began my divinity school program.  This church has played a very special role in my formation process as a minister, and I will always hold this congregation close in my heart.  

I look forward to seeing many of you around the city, as I'll be staying in Philadelphia for the next two years to complete an internship with the Wellsprings Congregation in Chester Springs, PA.  Many blessings to you all -- and thank you for your kindness, support, encouragement, and wisdom as I continue on this journey.

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