Rev. Jill Jarvis began serving the congregation as part-time consulting minister in 2006 while still in seminary at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago. The congregation 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 and inspiring UUs 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.”
Rev. Jarvis may be reached by phone at (816)853-6530, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read Reverend Jarvis’s responses from “Faith Forum” in the Lawrence Journal World.