The interim period between settled ministers is an important one in any congregation’s life. At FUSF, we are in the unique position of replacing a minister who served our congregation for 29 years. The Transition Team’s job is to help our congregation process who we are, where we’ve been, and how we view ourselves moving forward. Engaging in this process allows us to articulate our unique identity, give birth to a new and more vibrant vision for our future, and set a new direction for the next chapter of our life together. After we do this work, we will be ready to find ministerial candidates who may be a good fit for us. Before we know who we are and where we want to go, it’s difficult to find a new partner in ministry.
On 4, June 2016, FUSF said farewell to our longtime Minister Rev. Carol Rosine. On August 1, 2016, we welcomed Rev. Jenny Rankin as our Interim Minister.
Born in Boston, Jenny was raised as a Unitarian Universalist and believes in the transformative power of a spiritual community to help heal the spirits of its members as well as bring a positive and transforming light to the world.
Jenny has served as an interim minister to congregations in Hingham, Cohasset, Hopedale, Gloucester and Lexington, in addition to a fifteen year settled minister in Concord, Massachusetts. She has also worked part-time at Babson College on a multi-faith ministry team as Ecumenical Chaplain. She has been accepted into the Accredited Interim Ministry (AIM) program of the Unitarian Universalist Association and is part of a network of trained interim ministers who serve churches around the country as they prepare to call a new settled minister.
Jenny is a graduate of Princeton University where she majored in history and literature. She received her M Div from Harvard Divinity School. She has been married to Rich Higgins since 1988; they have three children, Emily, Charlotte and Nick. Jenny, Rich and Nick live in Concord, Mass.
Highlights of her experience include designing and implementing training and retreats for staff, consulting and coaching for lay fundraising team, experience with capital campaigns, designing and creating pastoral care programs, co-founding the Jericho Road Project to serve the poor, teaching spiritual exploration classes, and helping congregations reflect and listen to one another to process conflicts, come to consensus, and consider new directions.
The following is an excerpt from her “Vision of Interim Ministry.”
“I enjoyed interim ministry in three congregations at the beginning of my career and I have loved returning to this specialized form of ministry after 15 years at First Parish in Concord. I bring a toolbox of interim skills, years of experience in ministry, a basic love of people and enthusiasm—for the communities I serve and for life itself. I sometimes compare interim ministry to traveling. When I meet a congregation, it’s entering into a whole new country! There’s a new language to learn, local people to meet, traditions that are unique to that place, a history to explore.”
Jenny goes on to state that when she arrives, she’ll take the initiative to reach out and meet people. She’ll set up meetings with individuals, she’ll meet with small groups, she’ll listen to the board and lay leaders, and she’ll work to form the Transition Team. She’ll be delving into our newsletters, budgets, reports and strategic plans to help lay leaders research and understand the overall institution. On the personal side, she will have lots of day-to-day contact with individuals and staff, pastoral care, preaching and spiritual growth work.
Some of the things Jenny likes to do when she is not at work: Making things with her hands, gardening, walking her dog in the woods. Spending “down time” with family and friends is always good. The ocean. The mountains. Travel. Dropping down in to the beauty and silence of the natural world. Writing. Poetry. Reading.
Click here to read more about the transition period and about our Transition Team.