First UU Columbus

A Welcoming Congregation

Ministerial Intern coming Fall 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Hagemann   
Friday, 10 February 2017 17:04

Thanks to a Legacy Gift, First UU Will Welcome a New Ministerial Intern this Autumn

At the request of Meadville Lombard Theological School, First UU has offered a part-time, two-year internship to Meadville student Amanda Hays.

Amanda HaysWhen the congregation was setting out preliminary goals for our recent Green and Growing Capital Campaign, one of the programs we hoped to raise funds for was a Rev. Mark Belletini Internship Fund. While that facet of the campaign was ultimately set aside in favor of more pressing needs, the desire to host a ministerial intern did not go away.

Last year the congregation received a generous bequest from the estate of Jean Werts, church Acorn Society member. Both the congregation’s Coordinating Team and Board of Trustees feel that Jean would have loved the opportunity to help a young woman with a deep passion for justice become a minister in our faith tradition. Additionally, as this would be a two-year internship, we will seek a denominational grant to help fund its second year.

Linda Thompson, from our Archives Team, reports that since 1961, this congregation has ordained 14 Unitarian Universalist ministers. That’s a lot for a church of any size. Clearly something is at work at First UU. And while it has been years since we hosted our last ministerial intern, First UU has a great deal to offer the right candidate in her or his ministerial formation.


When church leaders learned of the Jean Werts bequest, we knew it should be used for something special. When the possibility of an internship came to light, the Board saw the opportunity to match the desire of many in the congregation, as well as Rev. Mark’s hope that we would become a teaching congregation, with a project that would help honor the memory of Jean Werts, as passionate as she was about justice in all forms and the needs of youth in today’s world.

During her Community Studies year at Meadville, Amanda has been working with the Juvenile Justice Coalition of Columbus. Her next step toward ministry is a two year, part-time parish internship.

From Ginnie Vogts, “As Chair of First UU's Board of Directors, I whole-heartedly support funding this UU Ministerial Internship. I knew Jean Werts and admired her very much. I also happen to know Amanda Hays through mutual justice work in the community and could not be happier to endorse her. If Jean were here she would be thrilled to be a part of shepherding this young woman toward ministry and benefiting First UU at the same time.”

To help introduce Amanda to you, two of her sermons are linked below.  We are sure you will be excited about the prospect of her working with us during the next two years.