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Rev. Melissa Carvill-ZiemerTitle: Acting 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..