Tuesday Talk 7/2/19

Hello First UUers,

Happy Anniversary First UU!  On Thursday, June 27, 1940, 18 members signed a charter as the First Unitarian Church of Columbus.

This past Sunday we said goodbye to our ministerial intern, Amanda Hays. It was bittersweet as they say. Sad that we will be losing her but very much wishing her well on her journey. Amanda touched many of us with her leadership, poise, curiosity, intellect, kindness, and energy. Amanda was well-loved and appreciated. We sent her off with our gratitude and with many blessings for the future.

The internship program as structured by Meadville-Lombard Theological School (one of our two UU seminaries), requires that ministerial students complete a three-year, part-time internship with a congregation. The first year is spent with a community organization and the following two years are spent working in a church environment. Over the last two years, First UU served as a Teaching Congregation for Amanda. Rev. Eric was her supervising minister. We were all her teachers – although Amanda frequently turned the tables (in a gentle manner) and taught us!

Everyone gained from our relationship with Amanda. And, it was very good for First UU to be an active, recognized, and generous congregation. We fulfilled a dream – and a legacy – by becoming a Teaching Congregation. We also helped launch a fantastic person into ministry.

Now, our job is to build on our love of education, and continue as a Teaching Congregation. For Amanda’s internship we used a combination of a legacy gift and UUA grants, both of which are finished. We will need to find funding resources/donations to carry on. Here is the outline:

Student – works off-site in community while taking classes
Church – promise of two-year commitment to student

Student – begins ½ time internship at church while taking classes
Church – active Teaching Congregation for student. Pays stipend.

Student – continues/completes ½ time internship and classes
Church – continues as Teaching Congregation, Pays stipend.
Current part-time stipend is about $21k per year.

If we want an intern for 2020-21, we have to let Meadville know by this coming October. The intern would then begin their off-site year with the promise of coming to First UU for the following two years.

To do this, we need to have enough donations/promises/gifts to fund the stipend. This is NOT in the standard operating year budget. Any funds we receive to be a Teaching Congregation do not replace your pledge (thank you!). We can apply for grants (anyone a grant writing expert?) Or, we can accept legacies, donations, or gifts.

It was very good to be a Teaching Congregation. We benefited enormously. AND, we helped. It was a win all-round. I hope we can figure out a way to make this happen again.

If you are interested or have ideas, please let me know. These conversations will be on-going.


Rev. Marian