On June 24th, the UU Church of Studio City voted to call me as their settled Minister. This means that rather than renewing a contract each year with the board, I will now have one contract into the future that is between me and the church’s membership. A contract held in sacred covenant of our right relations, the UUA, and my UU Ministers’ Assocation’s Code of Ethics. I take this very seriously and promise to uphold all my duties to the best of my abilities.
I could not be more pleased or joyful. Professionally, this is the fifth UU congregation I have served. I loved them all, but UUCSC is special because I’ve never been a better match anywhere else. I especially love the Jewish and Pagan presence here, as well as the creative element of being in the heart of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles. We have so much talent! Our members and friends are experienced and committed volunteers who give with their whole heart. This is very good because we are a volunteer-run organization. The Chair positions we have gained in the past two years in the areas of Social Justice, Membership, Communications, and Stewardship are all top notch!
I also love that families with children and youth find a place to grow their families here, imparting the values they can’t get at school. I love that we are an inter-generational community that cares about Religious Exploration, no matter our ages or if we have kids. We believe in our future and the holy obligation to pass on our tradition for generations to come. For 75 years, we always have.
Not only did we deepen our relationship through called ministry, we also deepened our commitment to our incredible Director of Religious Exploration, the dedicated and brilliant Jason Taksony Hewitt, by raising his hours from 20 to 30. Other than our wonderful Music Director Nancy Holland (who gives me a magic hug each time we work together before Sunday service), I have never felt so fortunate to work with another colleague. We are thrice blessed with our current program staff (Nancy, Jason and myself are a great team), and we have a solid foundation on which to build our 21st century liberal religious presence in Los Angeles.
I love being a minister and I can’t wait to build and strengthen our community together, in shared partnership. But first I have to have some vacation and celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary! I will be back mid-July, but will also work from afar to make sure our Lay Preachers and Worship Associates are set up for successful worship while I’m away. Thank you worship volunteers!
My heartfelt gratitude is owed to our church leadership, especially Board President Liz Owen, and Contract-to-Call Chair Terry Hassman. Both ladies believe in me, but most importantly, they believe in what we are trying to do here. They believe in sound leadership and right relationship, the very heart of a healthy religious community.
Thank you Members for your vote of confidence! I shall keep our shared faith safe and sound, as we venture forth to an exciting new era!