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Thursday, March 29, 2023

Great News from the UCW Pastoral Search Committee

Meet Reverend Megan Berkowitz

Greetings UCW Community,

It has been quite a year and journey for our Pastoral Search Committee in our work to find the candidate to whom we are called and who is called to us.

The work began in February of 2022 with the Transition Team and their rigorous work to identify who we are now, who is our neighbor, and who is God calling us to be. Their work set the foundation for our search. Our Church Profile was released in mid December and we received 16 responses over the course of our search. We received profiles and interviewed candidates from both the United Church of Christ, the American Baptist Churches, and one Unitarian Universalist candidate. The committee conducted 11 interviews with 8 different candidates from diverse backgrounds over the next month and a half.
Rev. Megan Berkowitz
We are happy to report that we met with amazing and qualified individuals, many of whom we agreed would be wonderful fits for our Congregation. After careful discernment, we felt one candidate was being called to us over all others. We were looking for a candidate who exhibits strong pastoral leadership skills and who could minister across faiths, someone who is passionate about extending our ministry beyond the doors of our church to our neighbors locally and globally, someone who values youth ministry and faith formation, and someone who could help us to grow to become a more inclusive and welcoming church. References used language such as “deeply faith filled” and “at the tip of talent in our denomination”.

Besides exceeding all of our profile qualifications, everyone on the Committee was moved in our interactions and felt a personal connection with our top candidate. Each time we spoke with her the debrief always seemed to start with the word Wow! We are happy and blessed to report that she feels the same calling to us!

We are delighted to introduce Reverend Megan Berkowitz

Rev. Megan Berkowitz came into ministry in the UCC out of an interfaith upbringing (Catholic and Jewish), and draws on this interfaith and ecumenical grounding in every aspect of her work. She was immediately drawn to the ecumenical history and current story of welcome at the Union Church in Waban, from profile through every interview and conversation. Some of Megan’s passions in ministry include ecological justice, storytelling, strengthening partnerships with the communities our churches are part of, and living out Christ’s love to bring our world closer to God’s vision for all to be ‘on Earth as it is in heaven.’

Megan currently serves as Pastoral Resident at the Wellesley Village Church and Managing Pastor of the Congregational Church of Weston, and will continue in these roles through the end of her designated term ministry in late June. She has served First Church Somerville, Church of the Covenant, Cathedral High School, and Neighborhood Counseling and Community Services in Somerville in various pastoral and counseling roles in the past. She is an alumna of the Boston University School of Theology and School of Social Work’s dual MDiv/MSW program, and brings her training as a therapist and passion for supporting people’s minds and spirits into her congregational care and preaching.

Rev. Megan and her wife Leila Quinn have both lived in the Boston area for over 10 years. Leila is a member of the Reconstructionist Jewish community Congregation Dorshei Tzedek, which meets at Second Church in Newton. The search committee has heard quite a bit about Megan and Leila’s adventures in bunny care, as they recently adopted a baby Flemish Giant Rabbit named Rosey. Megan is also an avid crafter and textile artist, former butterfly researcher, and aspiring triathlete. Prior to her call to parish ministry, Megan worked as a Marketing Director for a local rock climbing gym chain and as a technical writer for a PR firm in Boston.

Megan looks forward to candidating weekend and to getting to know each and every person in the Union Church community. Her current prayer is that the Spirit who has brought us together through holy discernment will continue to accompany us and to spark curiosity within us about one another and the future ministry God is calling us to together.

Candidating Weekend Save the Date

As announced in Church this past Sunday, please mark the weekend of April 28th-30th on your Calendars as we will all have the chance to meet Megan. The weekend details are still being formulated but we envision structured and informal gatherings something like this:

  • We will have an event for the entire church on Friday evening which might include time for Q&A.
  • This will be followed by meeting with select groups on Saturday
    - Staff
    - Church council
    - Key committees
    - Youth
  • Megan will provide the sermon for Worship on Sunday. This will be immediately followed by a congregational meeting to discern the call.
At the congregational meeting, after the moderator opens the meeting, someone from search committee will present the candidate to the congregation for consideration.

We very much look forward to everyone meeting Megan and we could not be more delighted to welcome her.

Thank you all from the Pastoral Search Committee

Carol Bascom-Slack (Co-Chair)
Buz Bedford (Co-Chair)
Jandi Strong-Dennis
Bart Kelso
Soo Laski
Elisabeth van Reijendam
Susan Hunt Stevens

And many thanks to the Transition Team

Anya Bassett
Alan Cody
Jane Purser
Jaap van Reijendam
Cindy Spertner