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Welcome, Rev. Dr. Fred Wooden, to Valley UU!

By now you have seen Rev. Wooden’s face, in a photo at our Congregational Conversation and/or live at the worship service yesterday morning.  We are so pleased to announce that Rev. Wooden has accepted our request that he serve as Valley Unitarian Universalist’s Interim Minister, by signing a one-year renewable contract with a start date of September 1.  He is working with our Worship Associates team now, and you will see him in the (virtual) pulpit on September 20.  Curious?  See his bio here.

The interim search committee chose Fred for a number of reasons.  First, he met the criteria set out by the Board of Trustees that said we must have someone who meets these standards:  1) have amazing preaching abilities, to be able to consistently prepare and lead excellent Sunday services, 2) Excel at team management and organization skills including  strong communication, decision making, conceptual, and interpersonal skills., experience managing congregational personnel and budgets, and an understanding of the digital world relative to worship, team building, pastoral care, & membership, and 3) A focus on our existing mission, vision, and ends statements, with the skills to assess our mission, strengthen our vision, and promote advancement toward our ends statements.
Well beyond those benchmarks, Rev. Wooden made an exceptional impression on the committee during a two hour interview process for his history of dedication to social outreach and action, and his genuine interest in the work that we have done together in those areas.  They communicated to the Board that Rev. Wooden was not just a good fit, but that he will be the steward we need during the next two years as we reinvent ourselves in this new world, and continue to do what our mission and vision continue to call us to do.

In Love, Service, and Justice,
The Valley UU Congregation Board of Trustees
 
Greetings from Rev. Wooden:
Greetings Valley UU community!  I am thrilled to be working with you as your interim clergyperson. In some ways you are utterly different from the church from which I just retired, which is old and large and has six month winters with lots of snow. That's part of the excitement, because it will be a new adventure for me. Another part is that the next two years are an adventure for you as we go from one chapter in your life to start another. And lest we forget, we are doing this in the midst of a pandemic and a polarized political campaign to boot. Kinda like Ginger Rogers who did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.  Truthfully, though, I am more like Fred Rogers than Fred Astaire, with flashes of Fred Flintstone from time to time. (Sorry about the dated references, but heck, I'm 67).

I believe ministry is what churches do, and clergy are there to help. My unique job as an interim is to learn your story, remind you of its enduring power, invite you to imagine where that story is leading you, and help you find a new partner to help you get there.  That's a lot in two years, but as someone I met 25 years ago said, "we have only a little time so we must go slowly."
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