A New Chapter at CVUUS
Hello to all of you – CVUUS members and friends of all generations!
I’m the Rev. Tricia Hart, one of your two new part-time “contract” ministers. I will be working half-time this year, while the Rev. Christina Sillari will be quarter-time. We’ll be with you throughout this church year (and possibly longer, though nothing’s been decided yet).
Click below to see a conversation between Rev. Tricia and Rev Christina:
The last few weeks have been filled with many meetings: with CVUUS staff, the Board, Interim Search Team, and lay leaders in several different program areas. As we move into the fall, Rev. Christina and I will mostly be working on different schedules – to make the best use of our limited hours, and to apply our particular skills. Our overall goal is to help all of you meet the challenges and opportunities of this transitional time.
Working with two part-time, unrelated ministers is certainly an untraditional model for a UU congregation navigating a transition from the end of one settled ministry to the beginning of another. It’s new for Rev. Christina and me, too! So far, it’s been delightful to work with another colleague, and figure out how our skills and interests complement each other. Christina and I have each served UU congregations for many years; after retiring from full-time parish ministry, working part-time with a congregation at an “in-between” time is a good way to share what we’ve learned.
My path to parish ministry began from my home church in Yarmouth, Maine, almost 30 years ago. Transitional ministry quickly became my chosen specialty – I enjoy the excitement and challenge of meeting a congregation with “new” eyes and ears. In the last 27 years, I’ve served nine congregations in four New England states, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio; I also worked as Stewardship Consultant to a few dozen other UU churches around the country. There’s much that’s similar among UU congregations… and it’s also true that each church has its own particular story, which changes through the years. It is a privilege to serve as Minister in any congregation, and to learn and tell that story.
My spouse and partner in ministry is the Rev. Peter Newport – Peter and I worked as Co-Ministers for nine years, after which he retired and I returned to solo ministry. You will get to meet Peter at events and occasional Sundays, though he is continuing his membership at the First UU Society in Burlington. You’ll probably get to meet our little dog, Waldo, too – he’s become a fan of Zoom meetings!
Rev. Christina and I are still learning about CVUUS. Each of you holds part of this congregation’s evolving story, so we’ll need your help. Tell us what you love about this church, what you hope for, and how you imagine this next fascinating chapter at CVUUS could unfold.
I will be away for a couple of weeks in September, and back on a regular schedule in time for my first Sunday on October 1. I’m looking forward to getting to know you soon.
May September be a month of beauty and blessings!
Rev. Tricia Rev. Patricia Hart, Contract Minister
From CVVUS BOARD (July 2023): I am excited to let you know our search for a transitional minister ended successfully when two ministers, Rev. Patricia Hart and Rev. Christina Sillari signed contracts with CVUUS on Sat. July 15, 2023. Together they plan to cover most ministerial duties. Their contracts have been written for one year with the expectation that we will have another year extension, thus the plan is a 2 year term. Rev. Hart, a Developmental Minister coming to us from the Burlington UU Church, will take on 50% of the minister’s role, while Rev. Sillari (who many of you may know from her occasional presence in our pulpit) will assume an additional 25%. Both ministers are very experienced, and we believe that their presence here at CVUUS, and their participation with all of us, will both enrich our congregational life and aid us in welcoming a settled minister at the end of this two-year period. Rev. Hart and Rev. Sillari have already begun planning how they will share their ministry. Between the two of them, they will lead 30 worship services annually, and cover most other normal ministerial responsibilities. They will begin their ministry with us at the end of August, and Reverend Sillari will lead the Ingathering Service on September 10.
As you will note, they will cover 75% of what a full time minister would cover. We are confident that there will be no major gaps in what we would expect from a full-time minister. However, we will need to continue the active and engaged participation for which our congregation is known to flourish. The Board believes that this is an opportunity, in this time of transition, that will help to propel us forward in our goals at CVUUS in a sustainable manner.
Let us look at the next two years as an opportunity to learn from these two incredible ministers and to accomplish even more than we might have in ordinary times. The next two years represent a real challenge and an exciting opportunity for CVUUS. Let us take advantage of it.
The Board would like to thank the Transitional Minister Search Team, most of whom have been working since January to find a ministry solution for the next two years. Those people are Hannah Sessions, Alan Moore, Tom Morgan, Heidi Sulis, Kas Singh, and Brett Millier. An extra special thanks to Gordon Gibson of our Personnel Committee, who has worked tirelessly to ready the contracts for our two new ministers.
Kerri Duquette-Hoffman, President, CVUUS together with the Board
See the Addison Independent story about Rev. Barnaby stepping down here.