What a delight to get to lead you all through this next phase of ministry. Thank you to the Board for your faith in my ministry and for your excitement about my experience. I appreciate your confidence and I am looking forward to building on the base Reverend Suzelle’s ministry has firmly established.

One aspect of UUCW’s ministry that brings me great comfort and hope is that the dedication this congregation has to anti-racism and LGBTQ issues. It is rare to walk into a congregation that has been doing its work before it was common. As a minister who comes from many marginalized identities including multi-racial/multi-cultural, queer, first in my family to go to college, and from a working-class background, the identities I hold are evidence of your dedication to bringing your faith into action. That along with your need for my skills means we can do great ministry together.

I also want to thank Reverend Suzelle for her nurturing and confidence. She is giving UUCW a gift in showing us how ministry can be shared, as we co-minister her last nine weeks together. She is someone I have learned from and respected for many years. This congregation is a gift to work with and she mulched the soil and planted many many seeds here.

The success of a minister is not based on their abilities alone. While I have done things the board is asking me to focus on at other congregations and organizations, working in your fertile ground will be a gift. Ministers and congregations blossom by supporting, leading, and following one another. I want to thank all of you for what we are about to cultivate.

Let’s bring sunshine to our work. Let’s water the ground at church as we get ready to help Reverend Suzelle fly away like a butterfly into her retirement. I look forward to planting and picking the flowers and fruits we will grow together.

With love and gratitude,
Reverend Denise

Read Rev. Suzelle’s response