Back to All
Religious Education

May Is Full of Transitions

This May is full of transitions in Religious Education. We say goodbye to RE Assistant, Kaitlin Barron whose positivity, warmth and work ethic has helped the RE program be successful this year. She and Alex are off on a Texan adventure to be with family and travel. Kaitlin’s last day will be May 12.

Additionally, after a decade of dedication, love and tender care, Deb Solis, our Youth and OWL Coordinator, is retiring. Deb’s tireless efforts before, during and after the pandemic have been a blessing to our youth and families. Deb’s willingness to help in any way she can has been beyond measure; her role and responsibilities have shifted with the church’s needs during the past few years. Regardless of what the task at hand is, Deb always approaches it with enthusiasm and grace. We will be celebrating Deb on RE Sunday, May 19 and her last day as staff will be June 2. Deb is a member of First Church and will step away from the congregation until December of 2024 to allow for healthy boundary space before returning as a member.

Amidst all the goodbyes there is good news to share as well. In April, I was granted full fellowship as a Unitarian Universalist minister, marking the end of the credentialing process for ministry. This process entails years of being evaluated by multiple parties, as individuals and as teams, my professors, peers and supervisors in chaplaincy training, teaching pastors, multiple UU formation committees, the Ministerial Fellowship Committee, and my supervisor and the MRE Committee of this congregation for three years, along with meeting with a mentor monthly for three years. Being granted full fellowship means I have met the UUA’s high standards and expectations for ministers. And with the completion of this extensive evaluation I am eligible to pursue roles only allowed to ministers in full fellowship. It also means I have done good work and have the skills and knowledge to continue my own formation.

This is all possible due to the incredible support and dedication of my MRE Committee on the Ministry Team: Thea Watters, John Fitak, Bizzy Schultz and Rollie Hansen, my supervisor Rev. Dena McPhetres, my mentor, Rev. Dr. Linda Olsen Pebbles, and my family.   Their guidance, patience, and time has been critical in this long process. Finally, I am ever grateful to everyone at First Church who ordained me and have continued to place their trust in me while giving me a place to serve and care for the world. You are each a blessing!

Rev. Kimberlee Tomczak Thompson
Minister of Religious Education

Back to All