After deep reflection and in conversation with my wife, Sam, and colleagues and mentor I respect, I have decided to retire from the Ministry as a full-time minister. My reasons are personal and my hope is that you will grant me your blessing.
My career in ministry began in 1980 as a hospital Chaplain, followed by 10 years as a Director of Religious Education, a Pastoral Counselor, and as Minister to congregations for the past 25 years. I have experienced my leadership of late as a candle burning very low and even though I’ve sought out support from colleagues and gleaned from the energy of RVUUF leaders, I believe RVUUF deserves a brighter presence for Ministerial leadership. I want to focus my time and energy on the life Sam and I can have together in retirement.
The official date I will no longer be working for RVUUF will be July 1, 2017, which means I am choosing not to extend my contract beyond the third year serving as Developmental Minister. My hope is that you will not lose sight of how you’ve moved courageously into a deeper place with each other since my arrival in August 2014. Your vision and mission of who you are and who you can be in the Rogue Valley has gained clarity with a greater sense of calling from the world. I see a bright future for RVUUF with new Ministerial leadership. I remain believing RVUUF’s offering of liberal religion who embraces, empowers and engages with each other and the world is needed now more than ever.
Jan. 28 at 11 a.m. is scheduled “Tea time with the Minister” and I will be available to respond to any questions this decision may arise for you.
The next steps include your participation in the upcoming Focus groups the Committee on Fellowship Ministry (CFM) will facilitate on Feb. 19. Focusing on what you have gained, learned and valued these last few years will strengthen your ability to help carry this congregation into the future. Then, February 20th the Board and CFM will receive guidance, through the UUA Transitions Office Director Keith Kron, who will inform them about the process for getting new Ministerial leadership as quickly as possible. Additionally, the Pacific Western Region office offers the support of Sarah Schurr as the UUA congregational life consultant for RVUUF.
Continued support is offered by Rev. Cat Cox as she makes herself available to the Board and CFM to help process this news. Those who are taking her practice class this year will be able to process their responses, as well as those in my practice class. As always, I am available to meet with anyone who would benefit from meeting with me privately.
My gratitude is heartfelt for your welcoming me as your Developmental Minister these past three years. I have been touched by your lives, and for that I am even more grateful. My hope and prayer for you is to stay open to each other, search for what matters most, and maintain an empathic collaborative-covenantal community as you strive together in making your vision come true in the Rogue Valley.
Rev. Nan L. White
Developmental Minister at RVUUF