Some Goodbyes, Some Welcome Backs, But Same CER Team Spirit of ‘Better Together’

By Megan Foley

Summer is bringing some staffing changes to Central East Region.

Our biggest piece of news is that Andrea Lerner, who serves our congregations in the Metro New York area, will be retiring from the Central East Regional staff as of June 30th of this year. Budget cuts at the UUA have led to a need to downsize in the Region, and we are grateful for her willingness to retire sooner than had been originally planned. Andrea has been ably serving the former Metro New York District and now the Region for sixteen years, and I know you’ll join me in celebrating her tenure and wishing her well in her next chapter.

We on Central East Regional staff have already made plans to absorb Andrea’s workload, especially including her primary contact responsibilities. As you remember, your congregation’s primary contact to the UUA is your first responder in times of questions, concerns, joy and wondering - the person you call to ask questions, get resources, and connect to the wider UUA. This function will continue as it has been, but with a new person. Andrea’s congregations will be taken on by either Patricia Infante, David Pyle, Hope Johnson or Evin Carvill-Ziemer, and letters to those congregations announcing the changes are already going out. We are hoping for a smooth transition, of course, but let us know if you have questions or concerns, anytime.

On July 1 we’ll welcome back Rev. David Pyle to our staff after his year with the New England Region. As you’ll remember, David was nearly deployed to the Middle East in his role of Army chaplain, but that mission was cancelled at the last minute. Since we had already hired Paula Cole Jones for the year, the UUA arranged for David to fill an opening in New England. It’s been a wonderful year full of learning and new experiences for all of us, and we’re also glad to have David back with us serving congregations in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and now New Jersey and New York. Paula, who has been a fantastic addition to our staff this year, will be with us until the middle of August, and we’re already hatching new plans for continued work together after her official tenure comes to a close.

As always, our mission at the UUA is to equip congregations through coaching, companioning, connecting and challenging, and we are always in conversation with our congregations about how to better serve you. If you have ideas to share, please be in touch! Our relationship with you is our first priority.

About the Author

Megan Foley

Rev. Megan Foley serves as Regional Lead for the Central East Region staff. Before joining regional staff she served for six years as the minister of the Sugarloaf Congregation of Unitarian Universalists in Germantown, Maryland....

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photo of Andrea Perry Lerner

Andrea Lerner, CER Congregational Life Staff.

Paula Cole Jones and David PYle

Paula Cole Jones, Interim CER Congregational Life Staff and Rev. David Pyle, Congregational Life Staff.