|Our Minister, the Reverend Jill Jarvis|
|Rev. Jill Jarvis began serving the Fellowship as part-time consulting minister in 2006, while still in seminary at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago. The Fellowship ordained Jill in 2008, and called her as our first settled minister in 2010. Jill’s special interest in ministry is growing healthy, nurturing congregations that represent the Unitarian Universalist tradition in the local community, inspiring UU’s to put their faith and values into action to help build a fairer world for all.In a 2009 article in the Lawrence Journal World, responding to the question, “What is your favorite part of being a religious leader?” Jill wrote:
“I serve a congregation with a strong tradition of lay leadership. It was not an easy decision for the Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence to employ a minister after half a century without one. During the past three years we’ve forged a collaborative relationship, working together as a beacon of liberal religion and a visible force for justice and compassion in the community. UFL is filled with caring, curious, committed people of diverse perspectives, who maintain a strong sense of themselves as a community even as new members continue to join us.
In our Unitarian tradition, ministerial authority is derived from the congregation itself. From the beginning, this Fellowship not only welcomed but also empowered me, just as they have always empowered each other. Members acknowledge and appreciate the gifts I bring as a professional minister. They are eager to listen – to me and to each other — and, when an idea inspires them, they step up with their talent and energy to make it happen. They are people with busy lives, yet consistently take the time to offer me the guidance, expertise, and encouragement I need to be an effective leader. They challenge and inspire me to become the best minister I can be, an amazing gift for which I’m truly grateful.
What an extraordinary opportunity it is to join with others to nurture spirits and to help heal a broken world! This congregation has stepped forward to advocate for people who are homeless, for fair immigration policies, and for health insurance reform. We affirm the worth and dignity of every person, welcoming people of all sexual orientations. We encourage and empower our children and youth, developing their sense of spirituality and creating opportunities for them to put their faith into action. We do it all together with a sense of gratitude and a sense of humor, which in the end may be the best part of being the Unitarian Fellowship’s faith leader.”
Jill maintains regular office hours at the Fellowship from 3:00 – 5:00 on Wednesdays, and is also available by appointment. She provides pastoral care and counseling for members and friends of UFL, and officiates at weddings and memorial services for members and non-members upon consultation.
Rev. Jarvis may be reached by phone at (816) 853-6530 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Bonnie Blosser, Director of Lifelong Learning|
|I grew up in Vermont. Skiing nearly every winter weekend, forging a nature path in the woods beside my house and picking up trash along the roadside for “Green-up Days” were the foundation for my development of the 7th UU Principle. After graduating from the University of Vermont with a degree in physical therapy, I moved many times. Each time brought me closer and closer to the Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence with skills and knowledge gained along the way. I was manager of a physical therapy department in Cleveland Ohio. I developed a Lamaze curriculum and became ASPO certified in Bloomington, IN. In Houston Texas I became highly involved in the PTO and created a new board position when I saw the need to energize and grow volunteerism in the classrooms. In Minneapolis, MN my journey became more faithful when our family found our church home at First Universalist. My 3 grown children, Justin, Hillary and Chelsea, participated in First U’s enriching RE and OWL curriculum. But First U was also where I began to explore my faith more deeply and independently for the first time in my life. I finished an MBA just in time to realize that the career path I had chosen was not to be, so I chose another. I began a small business making affirmation based beaded jewelry and teaching hundreds of women and children to bead through parties, community education programs and bead store classes. Creative living and worship at First U nurtured me until my divorce. Upside down and shattered, I took a job at Kohl’s. Folding towels and smiling to people all day no matter what and working with a loving circle of coworkers while struggling to land on my feet, taught me much. It was at Kohl’s as the shoe supervisor that I honed my organizational, communication and leadership skills. My path to Lawrence opened up one January weekend in 2003 at a UU Youth Con in Cedar Rapids, IA where I met my future husband. We married in 2005 in the Founder’s Hall here at the UFL but it was not until my step-daughter Kristen got married in the UFL sanctuary in February 2013 that my journey to the Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence was finally realized through more than coincidence. While Kansas is far from Vermont and I am far from my childhood, I still choose to pick up trash… now as my husband and I canoe around Clinton Lake. Organized, energized and in the best place in my life at this very moment, I wrote this personal Mission Statement to guide my work at the Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence as the Director of Lifelong Learning:
I will choose to lead with a sense of calm, inclusivity and a focus toward developing and offering creative, engaging, multidimensional learning experiences for all ages in our congregation so that together we can serve the needs of the community among and around us.
Contact me at email@example.com
|Jennifer Donnelly, Office Manager|
|Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org|