As Judy announced on Sunday April 4th, our journey from 24 ministerial applicants to 1 candidate has ended. And now we, your FPW Search Committee, are delighted to formally announce that Rev. Sophia Lyons is our ministerial candidate! We have so many things to tell you about her, but first and foremost, we are grateful beyond words that she followed this path to our congregation. Her website can be found here: https://www.revsophialyons.com – please read about her in her own words.
A little about the qualities that drew us to her: Rev. Sophia embodies the breadth of spirituality, honesty, compassion, and passion in her ministry that came through as our congregation’s key desires. Her strength in pastoral care is apparent in conversation; she lives her belief in listening deeply and giving everyone space to arrive as they are. Her references stress how genuine she is, and she brings experience supporting lay pastoral teams as well as providing individual care. Throughout our interactions, the Search Committee has consistently felt loved and ministered to. She is deeply committed to anti-oppression work, to building Beloved Community, and to being radically welcoming.
Rev. Sophia received her Master’s of Divinity from Boston University in 2019, has been accepted into UUA Preliminary Fellowship, and will be ordained on May 23rd by her home congregation, First Religious Society UU of Newburyport. On her journey to ministry, Rev. Sophia’s experiences range from acting, to childbirth educator, to teacher, to corporate PR. She is from LA originally but has lived in Chicago before settling on the North Shore of Massachusetts about a decade ago. Though we will be Rev. Sophia’s first settled parish ministry, she brings a wealth of life experience, as well as ministerial experience in congregational and chaplaincy settings, one of which is Island Minister for the Pelicans (youth staff) on Star Island!
Rev. Sophia has read our Congregational Record, discussed our hopes and dreams with us, and wants to join us as our 30th settled minister! Please read her website thoughtfully: learn about her, hear some services, and see pictures of her family, who will join her in the parsonage in the summer.
What is next for the congregation?
- HOLD THESE DATES: Candidating Week is April 24th – May 2nd. It will be 100% virtual. Rev. Sophia will preach at the services on both Sundays. Watch your email for event notifications.
- After the service on the 25th, at 1:30 pm, there will be a 2 hour Q&A session open to the entire congregation.
- Learn about Rev. Sophia from her website, and please think about specific questions you’d like her to talk about.
- During the Candidating Week, there will be one-on-one, small group, and larger group times to meet her. The Search Committee will send out invites and information in advance. We know you are very busy and very committed to the congregation and community. You are encouraged to come to the events you feel will allow you to get to know Rev. Sophia, ask questions, and see her in the role of our next minister. You are not required to come to every event about which you receive information.
- After the service on May 2nd, there will be an important congregational vote calling her to be our next settled minister. NOTE: You must have been a voting member as of March 3rd in order to vote on this warrant – and you must be present at this meeting in order to vote.
- Rev. Wendy’s interim ministry will conclude at the end of July. Rev. Sophia’s ministry begins August 1st.
As always, please email us with questions: email@example.com.
In grateful service to all of you~
Thank you for your trust in us.