First Unitarian Society of Ithaca

Sunday Services 10:30 am

Corner of Buffalo & Aurora St.

Ithaca, NY

Our mission is to create connections, find inspiration, and engage the world.

Candidating Week Schedule: April 22 through April 30, 2017

Candidating Week: April 22 through April 30, 2017
Schedule of opportunities to meet Rev. Weis

Candidating Week provides many opportunities to meet Rev. Margaret Weis and her wife, Susan. We will have time to share what we love about this church, talk about our passions and concerns, and tell our stories.

During Candidating Week Rev. Weis will meet with staff, committees, and teams. In addition, we have planned various events to give you the opportunity to socialize and meet the candidate one-on-one. We hope that you will attend at least one event with Rev. Weis and come to one or both worship services before the vote to call on April 30.

Sunday, April 23
Rev. Margaret Weis be in the pulpit for our 10:30 AM Celebration
A Congregational Reception will follow until 12:30 PM.

Monday, April 24
Congregational Reception from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm in the parlor.

Tuesday, April 25
Join Rev. Weis for a cup of whatever at CTB at Aurora and Seneca, 2-3 PM.

Thursday, April 27
Join Rev. Weis for a cup of whatever at Gimme Cascadilla, 10:30 - 11:30 AM.

Saturday, April 29
Our Hospitality Teams are sponsoring Ithaca Trivia and Ice Cream Social. This is a multigenerational event from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm in the Annex. Share with Rev Margaret and Susan Weis all you ever knew or wanted to learn about Ithaca

Sunday, April 30
Rev. Margaret Weis be in the pulpit for our 10:30 AM Celebration.
We will meet in the sanctuary for a Congregational Vote after the Celebration.
Lunch, prepared and served by our High School students, will follow the vote in the Annex.

Our Ministerial Candidate is the Rev. Margaret L. Weis!

From the Settled Minister Search Committee:

Almost two years ago you nominated us to act on your behalf to conduct the minister search process. We are extremely excited to tell you that we have found our candidate!

We came to our decision after an exhaustive search. After holding 17 cottage meetings and reviewing 147 responses to our congregation survey, we produced our congregational record and packet for prospective candidates. We’ve included 32 updates in our mid-week announcements to keep you informed. We followed up on all the suggestions from congregants about potential candidates. We read 19 ministerial records and countless sermons, held five Zoom interviews with candidates and made over a dozen reference calls. We hosted our top candidates for weekend long visits. By one estimate, we’ve each logged at least 300 hours on this project, but none of us really wants to count. We have exchanged well over two thousand emails, and met once a week, sometimes twice. We squeezed in time for some fun. We got to know and respect each other. And in the end, we unanimously agreed on this decision.

 The candidate we have chosen is a lover of nature and of music, and was raised in a family of educators. She loves bicycling, yoga, and singing. She loves to laugh and to be with people of all ages.

 Our candidate currently serves as Minister at the Religious Society of Bell Street Chapel in Providence, Rhode Island. She graduated with honors in 2012 from Andover Newton Theological School, and was a Presidential Scholar there. She grew up in North Andover, Massachusetts and is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist. Before going to seminary, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation and Disability Studies and her master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. She and her wife, Susan, have been married for six years this June. Their rescue dogs, Lela and Checkers, keep them on their toes.

 Some words from her in response to being chosen as our candidate:

“You have a remarkable search committee – they are kind, funny, cohesive, and deeply committed to this congregation and to Unitarian Universalism. It was wonderful to be welcomed by them. When I came to Ithaca, I was blown away by its natural beauty and the wonderful facilities where the congregation meets for fellowship and worship. I am over the moon to have found a good fit with FUSIT for the beginning of our shared ministry together. In just a few short weeks I will get to meet all of you, and I cannot express how excited I am to do so!”

It is with our deep pleasure that we recommend Rev. Margaret Weis to you as our next settled minister. Before and during Candidating Week (April 23 to April 30), we’ll do all we can to help you understand why she is such an outstanding choice.

Please check out her website to learn more about Margaret:

 We are available to answer your questions and we’re looking forward to introducing Rev. Margaret to you at the end of the month.    

 Andrew, Arthur, Kathy, Pat, Magdalen, and Don

If you’re interested, at this link (below) you can find what the members of the Settled Minister Search Committee considered as the job description of the candidate they were seeking along with statements of why they believe Rev. Weis is a great fit for FUSIT.

Message from the Minister

April’s theme is “Transformation.” As I write this, winter has just flung its last hurrah at us (at least I hope it’s its last!), and spring is just around the corner.

April is a month when the landscape around us is transformed. Those little flowers that tried to show their faces when it got so warm then got blasted with the cold again—they may try again, and others; their sisters and brothers. The new leaves will be coming out on the trees and the blossoms too. The hostas at the garden entrance to the church will reappear. The air will take on a different flavor, our skin won’t feel quite so dry, and the birds will be heard singing again.

In March, we welcomed a number of new members into our Society. We talked about the meaning of membership and how a true
commitment can change us, can transform us in ways we cannot foresee. The congregation provides a community to hold us and to love us just as we are, a kind of cocoon in which we can transform into the beautiful butterfly that’s inside us. My hope for you is that you may make or renew your commitment to this congregation and Unitarian Universalism, and find yourself growing in unexpected ways.

One great way to become more engaged and committed to Unitarian Universalism is to go to General Assembly. It’s the third week of
June and it’s in New Orleans this year! You can elect the new president of the UUA, participate in the governance of our denomination and attend lots of fantastic workshops. It can also be an opportunity to get to know the new settled minister, who will surely be there. I enjoyed having meals with Mark Pedersen in the Portland ’15 GA and getting to know him and through him, the congregation. Check it out at, or talk to me or Mark!

In faith,
Rev. Jane

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