The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) is pleased to announce that the Rev. Lauren Smith has been appointed Director of Stewardship and Development. In her new role she will oversee the UUA’s fundraising efforts, including Annual Program Fund contributions from member congregations. Rev. Smith will start in this position February 4, 2019.
“Lauren brings to this role a powerful combination of professional fundraising expertise and theologically grounded ministry,” said UUA President the Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray. “She will help the UUA strengthen its relationship with congregations and donors and build the systems needed to nurture generous and sustainable support that advances our shared aspirations to beloved community and liberation.”
Rev. Smith has served as co-senior minister of South Church Unitarian Universalist in Portsmouth, NH, since 2012 along with her husband, the Rev. Chris Holton Jablonksi. She has also served as a minister with the UU Congregation in San Mateo, CA, and as the Island Minister of the Star Island Retreat Center. Prior to her career in ministry, she worked as an Assistant Director at the Harvard Business School Fund.
“I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to enter Unitarian Universalist ministry at the national level,” said Rev. Smith. “The mission and purpose of our faith have rarely been more vital. Our congregations nourish and sustain us at a time when people are desperately in need of both consolation and challenge. I'm grateful for the opportunity to help fuel the health of our movement by funding our efforts to equip congregations for thriving ministries, train leaders, and advance our UU values in the world.”
Rev. Smith’s ties to Unitarian Universalism stretch back five generations. Her great-great-grandfather William Hazel was born a free black person in North Carolina and became a member of the First Parish in Cambridge after his family fled north prior to the Civil War. She and her husband now live in Dover, NH, with their three beloved children, Ben, Jack, and Aliyah.