|We have a settled minister!|
|Written by Alice Chico, Chair, Ministerial Search Committee|
Great news. At the April 22nd congregational meeting, a large turnout of members voted by an overwhelming majority (96.2%) to call the Rev. Jean L. Wahlstrom as our next settled minister, and she has accepted our offer.
Rev. Jean has returned to her current congregation in Phoenix, Ariz., to complete her interim time with them. She should be with us in Syracuse by mid-summer, and firmly established in the Syracuse community by the time opening Sunday rolls around on September 8th.
Thanks to all who participated in the search process from the very beginning through the long, busy candidating week, and today’s vote. One big chunk of work is done! Now is the time for MMUUS to embark on a new journey of ministry with Rev. Jean. It will be exciting and full of surprises for all. Watch the newsletter and the web pages as the summer progresses for more welcoming activities in September.
Please feel free to contact members of the search committee if you have further questions or concerns.
A second-generation UU minister
A native of Massachusetts and the daughter of a UU minister, Rev. Wahlstrom is a graduate of Colby College and received the Master’s of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School. She served her ministerial internship at the First Unitarian Society of Rochester, N.Y., under the mentorship of the Rev. Richard Gilbert. She brings to May Memorial 15 years of ministerial experience during which she served congregations in Burlington, Iowa; Clarklake, Mich.; Flint, Mich.; Portland, Maine and Phoenix, Ariz.
Jean says of her hopes for her new ministry with us:
“I love parish ministry, where people and place intertwine as the central focus. I deeply respect and enjoy the relationships which grow over time with church families and individuals. I view all aspects of congregational life as our opportunities to practice creating the world we envision.
“My ministry emphasizes worship, pastoral care, and membership. I treat the Sunday morning worship hour as absolutely the most important of the week—sacred time and space; a rich experience for the heart, mind and senses. I take deep satisfaction in fostering connections within the congregation, and between the congregation and the wider community.”
In her nonprofessional time, Jean maintains a close relationship with her extended family, who reside in Massachusetts. She loves nature and the out-of-doors, and is particularly fond of hiking. In addition, she enjoys photography, reading, music, and partaking of the cultural opportunities in her locality.