I am thrilled to announce that I am the candidate for settled minister at Chalice Unitarian Universalist Congregation (aka “Chalice”) in Escondido, CA. The congregation will vote to call me as their minister the first Sunday in May.
Escondido is located in beautiful San Diego County, where I was born and raised, where Peter and I own a home, where my parents and all my siblings live. Peter and I lived in San Diego together for 12 years before we moved to the Bay Area for me to attend seminary.
I was naturally interested when I realized Chalice would be looking for a minister the year I would be in search, but I also felt cautious. My goal has always been to find the congregation that is the right fit for my ministry, the place where my gifts and skills will be matched by the congregation’s needs and yearnings. I did not want the congregation’s location to be a distraction to my search. I didn’t want to confuse a yearning for San Diego itself for a call to serve.
But then Chalice was the first congregation who invited me to interview with them, an interview that felt comfortable and honest and invigorating. And then Chalice was the first congregation to invite me to pre-candidate with them, a weekend that felt delightful and welcoming and more than anything, like a beginning. Every step along the way, I wondered, “Can this really be happening? Could this really work out?”
It looks like it can, it could, and it did. It is simply one of life’s mysterious turn of events that the “right fit” congregation turns out to be the place that will bring me back to my family and to my home town.
I’m excited about their amazing music program. I’m moved by their strong sense of fellowship and community. I’m eager to work with their dynamic staff. I’m inspired by how they’ve used their period of interim ministry as a time for honest self-reflection and clarity. And more than anything, I’m hopeful for what we can achieve together in the years to come.
In Chalice’s search packet, they wrote “first and foremost, we are a Unitarian Universalist congregation, a covenantal and welcoming community which seeks strong, principle-based leadership. We want to celebrate our successes and strengths, to find common ground through our difficulties as they arise, and to face courageously what we must change to thrive and grow.”
I am honored to be invited to meet this vision of leadership.