Our Church As An Internship Congregation
When I came on board as your minister, I reviewed a document called the “2020 Vision.” This document was compiled years ago–perhaps with input from some of you–as a way to look into the future with very particular aspirations. I’ve asked the Board of Trustees to review the document as we prepare to set new goals together for the years ahead. Many of the goals listed in that document involved tremendous growth in numbers, additional staff members, and more. Some of the items have not come to pass. For example, we are not a congregation of over 400 members. However, there is one goal from the original 2020 Vision that we are able to live into in the coming year, and that goal is becoming an internship congregation.
One way a church can support our denomination and give back to the UUA is to host interns. Only ministers who have received “final fellowship” status may supervise interns who are seeking to become UU ministers. Becoming a UU minister requires many steps: Seminary, Field Education, Clinical Pastoral Education, and Internship(s) to name a few.
Near the end of last year, the board approved the addition of a part-time ministerial intern, and Holly Brown, a recent seminary graduate, will be joining us this fall to complete one of the final phases in becoming a minister.
Holly writes that this internship will allow her “to find a deeper understanding and gain the skills necessary to eventually become an ordained UU minister. As the site of my internship, the congregation has the opportunity to help shape the future of my ministry through your guidance and support.”
Holly became an aspirant for ministry with the Unitarian Universalist Association in June 2015. She served as a student minister from September 2017-May 2018 at North Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Lewis Center, Ohio. In January of this year, she completed her chaplaincy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and she completed her seminary education at the Methodist Theological School in May.
Holly offers the following as part of her introduction to Piedmont UU Church:
I am originally from North Carolina. Religion and churches have been part of my life from my earliest memory. I am the child and grandchild of United Methodist ministers. However, I questioned and could no longer adhere to the faith of my birth. At the age 16 I declared myself Wiccan and later pagan. Through Covenant of UU Pagan’s (CUUPs), Paganism led me to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greenville, NC in 2010. I officially joined the church in September of that year. I quickly became involved in the congregation as co-chair of the hospitality committee and assisted with some lay led services. In September 2015, I attended a service that asked those present to consider our labor of love. It was so clear that I loved all the work I did in connection to the church and felt called to become a UU minister. This had been in the back of my mind for some time, but I resisted due to my experience as a minister’s child. Soon after this realization I began researching all that was required to achieve a position in ministry. During this period of research, I was asked to serve part-time as the interim Director of Youth Religious Education which I did for seven months before relocating to attend seminary. This position was in addition to my full-time job with North Carolina State Historic Sites. I worked for historic sites from April 2007 until August 2016 after graduating from UNC Asheville in May 2006 with a Bachelor’s of Arts in history.
Her time with us will be an important piece of Holly’s preparation for ministry. Holly’s first Sunday with us will be in September. Please join the Board of Trustees and I in offering her a warm welcome to the Charlotte/Salisbury area.
~Rev. Mary Frances