Second Minister Announcement


Exciting News for the UUCC Regarding our Minister Search

Lauren Hood, Chair Ministerial Search Team

Lauren Hood, Chair
Ministerial Search Team

Dear UUCC Congregation,

Last summer we embarked on an exciting journey to find a second minister to join our professional staff. After assessing our congregation’s history and needs, we defined ambitious criteria for the ideal minister to help lead the UUCC as we move forward with our new Vision. We cast a wide net to locate candidates through traditional and less traditional search methods, and were presented with a strong list of impressive candidates with excellent qualifications. By reviewing experiences, listening to sermons and exploring individual talents and interests, we identified a subset to engage in “virtual” interviews via Skype. We were ultimately able to narrow the list down to the three strongest candidates, each of whom was a compelling potential match for our aspirations. The three finalists had an opportunity to visit us in person, enabling us to rigorously explore their abilities and potential alignment with our Vision. Additionally, this gave the candidates an opportunity to see the UUCC and Charlotte in order to evaluate their desire to join our congregation.

We are thrilled to inform the congregation that as a result of these efforts we were able to come to a unanimous decision. We have extended an invitation to Eve Stevens to take on the role of second minister, and she enthusiastically accepted. Eve is a spiritually grounded minister who is a good match for our religiously diverse congregation. We found her to be a passionate, caring and intelligent minister, who relates with compassion and leads with both her head and her heart. We feel confident that Eve will listen with humility, step up courageously, show up and speak up for justice and equity as we take on our new Call to Action. We’re looking forward to the new perspectives she will bring us as a female minister from a younger generation. You can learn more about Eve through her letter to the congregation shared below.

Bringing on a second minister presents a unique opportunity for our congregation. Eve will be a partner in ministry for Jay, our professional staff, our congregation and our larger community. Together Eve and Jay will define shared ministerial responsibilities that will meld the skills and experience of both ministers with the needs and opportunities present in our congregation and larger community.

Eve has some life circumstances that will require us to wait a while longer for her official start date, which will be in May of 2018. While this is not ideal, the search committee felt that Eve is such a wonderful match she is unquestionably worth waiting for. Fortunately, you will have an opportunity to engage with her much sooner. We invite you to meet Eve and participate in a service she will lead in partnership with Jay on May 21, 2017. Details are below.

The members of the Minister Search Team were honored and humbled to represent the congregation through this process, and we are delighted with the outcome. We are confident Eve’s ministry will enhance the individual and collective experiences of our UUCC members.

With peace,
Lauren Hood, Chair
and Ministerial Search Team

Meet Rev. Eve Stevens

 

Rev. Eve Stevens

Rev. Eve Stevens

Dear UUCC Congregation,

In December, I looked at the packet describing your Second Minister position for the first time. I was immediately overcome with excitement. Here was a congregation with a strong foundation, thriving programs, and energetic staff and lay leaders that also wanted to take risks and commit to a prophetic twenty-five-year vision of renewal and transformation. Here was a congregation engaged in intentional spiritual growth and doing the work of justice in Charlotte. I immediately very much wanted to be a part of UUCC. After speaking with Rev Jay Leach and having the opportunity to meet the staff and Ministerial Search Team in person, I was still more convinced and have been waiting on pins and needles hoping to hear the good news that I could indeed share in your ministry. Having received that good news, I am beyond delighted to be writing you this letter.

I grew up near Clemson, South Carolina, attending the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship there. I loved being part of a church family. I learned what it meant to be intentionally in community watching how the people in my congregation cared for and challenged one another. They taught me how to put the good of the whole first and what it looked like to maintain a fierce and uncompromising optimism even in impossible times. It was growing up in that loving faith community that made me realize ministry was the path for me.

For college, I headed to a small town in upstate New York to attend Hamilton College where I majored in History. While there, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Uganda and Rwanda. My classmates and I worked with returning child soldiers in Uganda and researched the process by which communities welcomed these children home and attempted to begin life again. In Rwanda, we lived with families who had been affected by the genocide in 1994. Again, we observed how people were coming together to reconcile feelings of anger, loss, and a complicated need to forgive. I came home amazed at the human capacity for cruelty, but also our capacity for compassion and resilience. I also came home more sure than ever that I wanted to spend my time in Unitarian Universalist communities doing ministry in the company of people who never stop trying to build a more kind and fair world.

After growing up in my small congregation, I wanted to experience ministry at a large church. I was fortunate to intern at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax, VA which served around seven hundred members under the leadership of Rev Mary Katherine Morn. I loved the breadth and depth of programming available in a large congregation, the quality and variety of worship services, and the strong social justice presence we could have in the DC area. Because of the wonderful experiences I had during my internship, I have looked forward to being part of a large congregational ministry again.

I am grateful that I am able to finish out my ministry with our congregation in Utica, NY before joining you in May of 2018, though the delay will be challenging to say the least. It will be a privilege to get to know you and I look forward to being a part of all the good and important work you are doing within and beyond your walls.

Gratefully,
Rev. Eve Stevens

Bio Highlights


From Our Minister, Rev. Jay Leach

Rev. Jay LeachDear UUCC Congregation,

I am thrilled that we are, at very long last, able to share this very happy news with you. You have been represented by a remarkable Minister Search Team that invested an incredible number of hours on behalf of all of us. Happily, the quality of our outcome matches the conscientious integrity of their process.

Rev. Eve Stevens came to us very highly recommended by respected colleagues who have a deep understanding of the work of ministry in a large congregation. She impressed us throughout this process with her warmth, poise, imagination, and enthusiasm for ministry. At the end of a long search, she emerged as our unanimous choice.

To be sure, a longer than anticipated wait for Eve’s arrival is a challenge. It says so much about just how impressed we were that we regarded her as worth waiting for. I’m delighted, however, that you will not have to wait to meet her and hope you’ll be a part of our Sunday services on May 21 when Eve will be here to lead the services with me.

We have audaciously ambitious hopes for the impact of a second minister here. I cannot tell you just how excited I am now to anticipate sharing my role and work with Eve in the coming months and years. And, I also cannot overstate just how appreciative I am for the work of our Minister Search Team and the support of our Board in this process.

Peace,
Jay

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