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Ministerial Search Successful
June 7, 2010
Newton Unitarians’ Search Successful
NEWTON, Mass. —The First Unitarian Society (FUSN) in Newton, Mass., founded as a Unitarian congregation in 1848, recently culminated its search for a minister by calling the Rev. Erin Splaine, minister at the First Parish in Wayland, Mass.
Thomas Bean, chair of the Ministerial Search Committee, said, “We were impressed with Rev. Splaine’s twelve years of experience, professionalism, and judgment. We also appreciated her ability to connect with the hearts and minds of adults and children— both from the pulpit and one-to-one. Her sense of humor and commitment to social justice made her stand out.”
Splaine, who begins her new role as FUSN’s senior minister on August 1, was called after a year-long search. “The FUSN I had heard about from my vantage point just across Rte. 128 these last nine years unfolded before me during the search process and most definitely during Candidating Week.
“The energy and excitement that infuses life at FUSN is matched only by the depth to which members and friends of the society care for each other,” she said. “Their commitment to one another and the world around them is as engaging as it is contagious. I am so honored to have been called to serve as their next settled minister.”
The entire congregation has participated in preparing for the new minister. “The process of calling a minister to a Unitarian Universalist Society calls for the congregation to work in conjunction with the Unitarian Universalist Association,” said Adrian Bishop, chair of the society’s Board of Trustees. “It’s a thoughtful process that allows a congregation to search for the right minister—meaning one who, among other skills, has the ability to move the congregation forward from where it is in its growth cycle.
“Right now, we feel FUSN is ready to grow again—both in numbers and in its ministries,” Bishop said. “We couldn’t be happier with the choice made by our search committee and the congregation. The Rev. Erin Splaine will be a vibrant leader for us. We are all—including our youth—looking forward to having her join us.”
The society, which once included such 19th century luminaries as abolitionist/educator Nathaniel Allen and education reformer Horace Mann among its members, made its opinion of the committee’s candidate clear when 99.6 percent of the congregation voted to call her May 16.
In a letter to the congregation Splaine wrote, “The moment your search committee extended the invitation to be your Candidate was one of profound joy.”