Announcement from the Ministry Fulfillment Committee

The Ministry Fulfillment Committee was established in March 2022 to advise the FUSIT Board of Trustees on fulfilling ministry responsibilities in service to the congregation for the coming year.

Due to budget constraints, and a lack of settled minister candidates, this process was a bit different than a typical minister “search.” We based our search and evaluated the candidates on the five skills that were identified as priorities in congregational conversations and remarks from the Board of Trustees. These are: Congregational Ministry Leadership, Building Community, Spiritual Leadership, Pastoral Care, and Operations/Administration.

We are very enthused about the results of our search and feel confident that the coming year will be an exciting and uplifting opportunity for growth as a community.

We have proposed a new concept of collaborative ministry to the Board of Trustees which they have enthusiastically accepted. The model relies on three positions:

Director of Congregational Life: Ms. Emily Richards

Associate Director of Congregational Life- Rev. Peaches Gillette

Pastoral Care- Rev. Janet Shortall

To enable Emily to take on new responsibilities as well as continue in her role of Director of Religious Education, we are also hiring a Religious Education assistant for the coming year.

Emily, Peaches, and Janet will share the spiritual leadership by creating and leading spiritually meaningful celebrations with the Celebrations Committee. Emily will give sermons two times a month and Peaches one time a month. Janet will give four sermons over the course of the church year.

Emily and Peaches will participate on the Ministry Visioning Team and work together on community connection in times of need. Emily will be the Staff Team Leader and Peaches will attend Staff meetings. Both will be ex-officio members of the Board of Trustees and attend monthly Team Leaders Council meetings. In addition, Peaches will be member of the Pastoral Care Team with Janet and work to support Janet in pastoral care functions including rites of passage, weddings, funerals etc. and attending to those who are ill or in need of comfort.

While Emily, Peaches, and Janet are each known by various members of the FUSIT community, we look forward to providing in dept introductions to each of them in the coming weeks so that our whole community can get to know them and appreciate the many gifts and talents they bring to the ministry.

We, the Ministry Fulfillment Committee, view a collaborative ministry among these three individuals as a potentially transformative moment in the history and traditions of ministry at FUSIT. We, along with the FUSIT Board of Trustees, look forward to the coming year with great enthusiasm! We also thank the congregation in advance for your openness and support of this new approach to ministry, and for your patience, kindness, and support to these dedicated staff as they embrace their new roles.

Submitted by the Ministry Fulfillment Committee members: Sue Rakow, Betsy East, Magdalen Lindeberg, Andy Turner, Scott Grover, and Margaret Nichols.