|From the new Associate Executive Director|
My first two years serving as a settled parish minister were often overwhelming. I distinctly remember feeling like I would never figure out how to live the preaching life in any way that I could imagine as sustainable. I brought my fears to my mentors who assured me that it wouldn’t always be so hard. One day, somewhere in the midst of my third year, I realized that they were right; I was learning how to live the blessing and challenge of ministry.
With greater confidence and capacity, I sought out ways to become involved with the UUMA. I served first as my chapter treasurer and then on our executive committee as the holder of our anti-racism, anti-oppression and multiculturalism portfolio. I had the opportunity to serve on the UUMA Nominating Committee and after that I became involved in service to the UUA too with an appointment to one of the Regional Subcommittees on Candidacy. From the beginning, I understood my volunteer service not only as a way to give back, but also as a form of professional development. Through service I got to work with inspiring colleagues. In service I had the chance to learn new skills, which I was then able to bring back to my parish ministry.
From being a participant in the Beyond the Call program to serving in the UUMA coaching program to acting as an Ambassador for the Sustaining the Call campaign, I have been so grateful to take part in the continuing education, collegiality and collaboration the UUMA provides. And that is precisely why I am so excited to begin serving as the UUMA’s new Associate Executive Director. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with so many creative and talented colleagues in the service of excellence in ministry. I want every UU minister to feel well served by the UUMA so that all our ministries may thrive, each in their own way. I am looking forward to this new way of living my calling to serve the holy through service to Unitarian Universalism broadly and to you, my colleagues, in particular.
This fall I will be ending my eleven year ministry with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent while also beginning to learn about my new role. I will do this while continuing to enjoy my two beautiful young children, Rylan and Owen, and by beginning to imagine a move East with my spouse, Evin Carvill Ziemer, who is also a minister serving as Congregational Life staff for the Central East Region. Right now there is very little time for hobbies in our lives, but we love to hike and our extroverted toddler loves for us to go on new adventures. Luckily for him, we have several ahead of us!
Melissa Carvill Ziemer