Hello! And thank you for all the ways many of you have already welcomed me to the New England Region.
I grew up here, mostly in New Hampshire and Vermont. I came of age in the Milford, NH UU congregation and as a young adult attended congregations in Connecticut and western Massachusetts. Then I ended up in seminary at Earlham School of Religion in Richmond Indiana and serving congregations in Northeast Ohio. I experienced regionalization as Ohio Meadville District became part of the Central East Region just as New England districts became the New England Region. So it has been a long journey, but I am glad to be serving at “home” now.
As regional staff I have centered relationship in my support of congregations. I feel called to the ministry of supporting both lay and professional leaders of congregations. I do it because I believe in the promise of Unitarian Universalism to change lives and change the world. And, even with all the foibles and frustrations of the? community, I love our UU communities.
Your regional staff have a lot of wisdom and ideas. And, often what is even more important is that we offer relationship. Someone who knows some of what you’re going through, isn’t in the middle of it, but is here to help you sort through. Sometimes we don’t have answers to your questions so much as we help you find deeper questions.
In the next few months we’ll be hiring two new program staff. So this fall is one of transition and change in relationships for the whole NER team. Both sadness of saying goodbye to Joe Sullivan and Meck Groot and of excitement for who we might be welcoming on board.
I live in western Massachusetts with my spouse Rev. Melissa Carvill Ziemer and our school aged children. (Who are of an age where they rarely want us to write about them online.) Melissa serves the UU Ministers Association as Director of Ministries for Collegial Care.
In my spare time I love to garden and explore the outdoors including hiking, canoeing, and camping.