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by Kimberlee Tomczak Carlson, Minister of Religious Education

There is a leap of faith that is required in becoming a Unitarian Universalist minister. In contrast to other religions where it might be described as following a calling from God, our faith is grounded in learning, service, and relationship.

During ministerial formation we are asked to discover and articulate our theological beliefs, how we find and hold on to hope, demonstrate how we serve and why. Over the years a responsibility grew in me, grounded in the history of our faith, people, and world, asking me to serve our belief in a universal love that holds us all. Those of us who take this leap into UU ministry do so hoping that we will find people to act on shared values, risk being known to themselves and others and will see in us someone whose heart is ready to serve and grow with them. That leap of faith is made real during ordination.

In our faith, ordination is granted through a relationship of a minister and a congregation. It is a sacred gift. You have welcomed me into your church and the lives of your families. Your presence at my ordination on October 18, 2020 will welcome me officially as a minister.

On October 18, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. my ordination will complete the transformation and confirmation of my journey to become a minister and our work together as a beloved faith community. We will light the chalice that day and when we extinguish it, I will be honored with the title of Reverend. That is the sacred gift that you give me.

My journey has been long, blessed with campus ministry, countless RE classrooms, youth conferences, and meetings in church basements.  Now, I have found my way am here with all of you at First Church; I am humbled and honored that this congregation unanimously voted to ordain me at our May annual meeting.  Though this is far from how I imagined my final step in my ministerial formation, I am inspired that together we will move forward through the tumult and together renew our promise to live into our values.

I am pleased to announce that Dale Skaggs, Bizzy Schultz, Beth Monhollen and Sarah Richards have enthusiastically agreed to be on my ordination team.  The ordination planning team will help with decisions around budget, communication, and do some of the implementation to make the event a successful collaboration that represents both First Church and my ministry.

I look forward to being together on my ordination day!

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