Meet Our New Second Minister Eve Stevens

evestevens_headshotGreetings UUCC!

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

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