Religious Exploration Announcement!

For the past month, your DRE Search team (Rev. Chris Rothbauer, Sally McCreary, and Emily Graff) have been working hard, consulting with regional staff and the Board, thinking about what we wanted in the next leader of our children and youth religious exploration program. It was not an easy task, for this is not an easy time. We decided what our congregation needed the most was a leader who would help navigate our program through the current pandemic when so many programs have to be remote, and help us assess our program and decide what we hope for in the future.

With this in mind, we decided we our next leader should be someone with the tech skills necessary to lead us through the remote time, as well as someone willing to seriously take into account how to fully integrate our children, youth, and their families during this time.

From a pool of applicants, we narrowed our candidates down to three choices, each qualified for the position in their own way. One candidate stood above the rest, though, and we unanimously recommended making an offer to this Board, which they have since accepted and signed a letter of agreement with us. Their first official date will be October 1, and they will be with us through the end of June 2021.

With that in mind, I would like to introduce you to: Matt Aspin, our new Acting Minister of Religious Exploration!

Matt is a long-time Unitarian Universalist who recently graduated from Meadville Lombard Theological School with a Master of Divinity Degree and also passed the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Minsiterial Fellowship Committee, meaning that Matt is a fully-endorsed minister within our movement. Matt comes from a background in personnel and human resources, where he developed curriculum for diverse learners.

At Matt’s home congregation, Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Seattle, Washington, Matt was a frequent RE teacher and committee member, as well as serving on the Board of Trustees. Matt completed his ministerial internship at Tahoma Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Tahoma, Washington, where he was considered a valued member of staff and a calming presence. Matt’s extensive experience working with children and youth as both a lay person and an intern minister will prove very valuable to his role here.

Your DRE Search Team was very impressed with Matt’s thoughtfulness, his calm and calming presence, his extensive experience working with organizations in interim periods, his experience with online learning platforms, his passion for Unitarian Universalism, and his desire to see the children and youth of the congregations he serves, as well as their families, be fully integrated into the life of the congregation.

Matt currently lives in West Milwaukee, Wisconsin and will be working with us remotely. We will be announcing ways to get to know him in the coming weeks, but I have no doubt that his time with us will be valuable and fruitful. I hope you’ll join me in welcoming Matt to our fellowship.

Here are a few words of introduction from Matt from this morning’s service: