Here is a summary of their announcement....
Hollis Berendt and Bill Gotchey from Greeley and Karen Harder and Rev. Gretchen Haley from Foothills were each appointed to the Selection Committee and had a wonderful experience interviewing 3 strong candidates for our shared position. After a thorough review, the team selected Diana McLean, who has been most recently serving as the Intern at the UU Church of Boulder. Diana brings a wealth of congregational experience, and a passion for our faith as a lifelong Unitarian Universalist. She has a particular call to leading worship, to pastoral care and the partnership across congregations. And she brings the extra bonus of having just worked with Foothills' incoming Interim Senior Minister Howell Lind as his intern.
Diana will start on August 1st as a 3/4 time Assistant Minister for both of our congregations. Initially, her time will be focused on Greeley, but she will also be getting to know Foothills and their membership team as they will be working on better connecting all who come to their church.
Left: Diana and her son Aiden
Right: Diana and Rev. Howell Lind
If you are interested in being a part of the team that grows our partnership between Greeley and Foothills, please let Rev. Gretchen Haley know: firstname.lastname@example.org
Below you'll find introductory letters from Diana and Gretchen, and a video from Diana. We are all thrilled at the opportunities that this year offers, and we look forward to seeing how it all will unfold.
- Hollis Berendt and Bill Gotchey, Board of Trustees for Greeley and Selection Committee members
- Rich Young and Jennifer Powell, Board of Trustees for Foothills Unitarian Church
- Karen Harder, Board of Trustees for Foothills and Selection Committee member
- Rev. Gretchen Haley, Associate Minister and Selection Committee member
Letter from Diana McLean:
Dear members and friends at the UU Church of Greeley and Foothills Unitarian,
I am delighted to be joining the ministerial team that will serve the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greeley and the Foothills Unitarian Church. It’s an exciting time to be serving these two congregations, as we all partner to extend the impact of Unitarian Universalism in Northern Colorado.
I’ve been a Unitarian Universalist since childhood, and am passionate about our faith and what we have to offer to the wider world. My call to ministry began about 15 years ago, and I answered first by deepening my involvement as a layperson in Unitarian Universalist churches as I moved to various parts of the country. I eventually served as a monthly guest speaker at the North Idaho Unitarian Universalists (a church similar in size to the Greeley church) for a number of years before the move to Colorado. Although I had envisioned ordained ministry as something that would wait until my son was grown, I made the leap and began theology school in 2011. I’ll be finishing up over the next year, and also going before the Ministerial Fellowship Committee of the UUA this fall.
I have been serving as the Ministerial Intern at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder since August 2014, and have been active in the Boulder-Denver Cluster of Congregations in a variety of ways since moving to Colorado in April 2011. In addition to the natural beauty around us here, I believe we are also surrounded by opportunities to share our faith with others hungry for our messages of love and justice.
Our faith is covenantal, and for me the power of religious experience is found within our communities, in the human connections we make with each other, which also allow us to deepen our individual spirituality in ways we wouldn’t alone. I look forward to making those connections with you, and to sharing a journey of exploration and depth with you.
In gratitude and anticipation,
Video from Diana McLean
Letter from Rev. Gretchen Haley
Dear friends at the UU Church of Greeley,
I could not be more excited about the opportunity to partner with your congregation to strengthen Unitarian Universalism in two churches, and all across Northern Colorado.
I have been serving the Foothills Unitarian Church since summer 2012, and have been active in Unitarian Universalism in Colorado since 2000, and so I have long been familiar with your congregation. Many of us have been rooting for Greeley to come into its full potential for some time, and so I am incredibly grateful for the chance to work with you and your leaders in this coming year to see how we can build on all the great work you have been doing with Rev. Kelly and Rev. Eric in these past couple of years.
To learn more about me you can check out my website I put together for my congregation a little over a year ago: http://revgretchenhaley.weebly.com/ You can also find my blog there, "Another Possibility," which is where I post many of my sermons as well as other reflections.
It was a pleasure to work with Hollis and Bill on the Selection Committee, and I know Marcia and her husband Michael from their time as members at Foothills. I look forward to getting to know more of you as the year unfolds. I will be with you for worship in August, and then at various times throughout the year from then on.
Northern Colorado needs our message of hope and courageous love, our affirmation that all souls are worthy, and that all life is connected - and our faith needs strong and transformative congregations. Our partnership responds to both of these vital needs. I can't wait to see what happens.