Our New Minister, Beginning August 2017 (Confirmed May 7, 2017)

After fifteen months of seeking to find the person who is the best fit to serve as our next settled minister, your Ministerial Search Team is excited to announce we have a candidate to recommend to you.  We had eleven UU ministers express interest in the position of settled minister of our church –  two men and nine women.  After thorough exploration, we determined that neither of the men nor three of the women candidates would be a good fit for our congregation.  We had extensive interviews and follow-up with the six remaining candidates.  We then hosted our top candidates on three week-ends and heard them preach in neutral pulpits.

After this exhaustive search we have unanimously and enthusiastically selected the Rev. Ilene Gillispie as the very best candidate to recommend as our next settled minister.  She is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, a lifelong Unitarian Universalist, and a chaplain at a Veterans’ Affairs Hospital in Durham, North Carolina.  She is a graduate of New College of Florida and Boston University School of Theology.

She is an artist, a musician and a lover of life!  In her own words she states her desires as a minister:

“I wish to speak truth to power, to support those who are hurting, to boldly proclaim my values as a lifelong Unitarian Universalist, and to preach and teach peace from the pulpit. I wish to be a force for and reminder of love during times that appear bleak. And, I wish to offer a ministry of love and connection to those who feel unloved and disconnected – this in particular motivates me to seek out ministries in rural locations, in communities where Unitarian Universalism is not in line with the mainstream sociopolitical culture.”
— Rev. Ilene Gillispie

Your Ministerial Search Team,

Lauren Agrella-Sevilla, Joanna Bliss, Ben Browning, Betty Kendrick, Bruce Kirkman, Earle Rabb