By Reverend Carol Rosine
My home church got a reputation of being a Minister Mill when several of us received “the call” during the ministry of our beloved Rev. Arnold Westwood. It was probably Arnold’s infectious joy in the ministry that attracted us. That and the fact that he used to say that the most wonderful thing in the world was to be paid for what you would want to be doing anyway. How could we resist wanting to follow in his footsteps? And so it has been; so much joy in being paid for what I love doing (except on those Saturday nights when the sermon won’t come together!).
This might be the reason why we have had quite a few ministers emerge from this congregation over the decades as well as several interns who honed their skills with us. FUSF has earned a reputation as a healthy warm congregation that’s filled with energy and enthusiasm for this faith of ours. As a result, it’s not surprising that several of our own have heard “The Call” or received a “1” from the Ministerial Fellowship Committee or been called to serve as the minister of a sister church. In some ways, we have been a Minister Mill as well. Well, now it is Jennifer Johnson’s turn.
Those of you who have worked with Jenn in RE or witnessed her presence in our pulpit know that she is ideally suited to be on the path toward ministry. And so, when Jenn approached our Board of Trustees and requested that FUSF become her sponsoring congregation, the response was enthusiastically unanimous. This vote by the board is an affirmation of Jenn’s potential to become a Unitarian Universalist minister and a promise to support her on her path. There is no financial commitment on our part, but it does mean that we will be cheering her on during her years of study at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago. This year I am serving as Jenn’s teaching pastor while she does a part-time community-based internship, which means that I get to meet with her on a regular basis to discuss the theological and pastoral implications of what she is doing.
Our experience in the past has been that when we have someone among us preparing for ministry, it makes our whole congregation a little more centered in being the best community of faith we can be. So may it be this time around as well!