It’s hard to believe that our first year of Interim Ministry together is coming to an end! From my perspective, this has been a wonderful year. Thank you for welcoming me into your fold while I sojourn with you during this transitional time. Thank you for your graciousness and hospitality. Thank you for doing the work of church and, even more importantly, for BEING church!
A number of you have begun to ask about my summer plans. Before summer officially begins, I will be traveling to Kansas City, MO to attend the UUA’s General Assembly from June 18th-June 23rd. I will not be checking voicemail during this time, but you’re welcome to be in touch by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will be back the final week of June and available by appointment. During that week, I will be wrapping up some end of the year loose ends and getting ready to head into summer.
Most Interim Ministers take 8 weeks of vacation during the summer months. I will be taking 4 weeks of vacation and will spend the other 4 weeks on “Study Leave.” While I’m on study leave, I will be reading and planning and getting organized for the year to come. I will not be holding office hours and will mostly be working from home, but I will be available to meet or talk if you need me. I will be checking voicemail sporadically over the summer, so email is still the best way to reach me: email@example.com.
During the 4 weeks that I am on vacation, I will be spending time with family, doing some traveling, and trying to “unplug” as best I can. I will be on vacation for 2 weeks in July and 2 weeks in August (see dates below). During those weeks I will not be checking voicemail and will be trying to limit my time on email. If you’re in touch with me during those times, I may not get back to you until my vacation time ends (unless it is an emergency). In the event of an emergency, both Susan Olson Drisko (President) and the Caring Committee Co-chairs, Ivy Krull and Joyce Bramhall, will know how to reach me.
I will be on vacation from July 6-21 and from August 10-26.
I plan to return to the office on Tuesday, August 28 and will resume regular office hours again once school has started the following week. I very much look forward to worshiping together again on September 9th when we celebrate your annual Ingathering and Water Ceremony.
I hope that you have a restful and restorative summer and I look forward to our 2nd year of Interim Ministry together!
Our Interim Minister Rev. Wendy L Bell’s bio:
The Rev. Wendy L. Bell received her Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School in 1997 and was ordained jointly by the First Church in Jamaica Plain and the First Parish in Chelmsford in 2000. She served as the Interim Minister of the First UU Society of Rockport, MA, before being called to the Harvard UU Church, Harvard, MA, in 2001. After completing 14 years of successful ministry in Harvard, Wendy returned to interim ministry, most recently serving the First Parish in Malden for two years before being hired as the Interim Minister of the Unitarian Church of Sharon.
Wendy grew up as a United Methodist in the Washington, D.C. area, and went to college at Grinnell in Iowa, where she studied Russian language, literature and history before graduating as a Religious Studies major. While at Grinnell, Wendy learned more about the Hebrew Prophets, World Religions – especially Eastern religious traditions – Feminist Theology, and Liberation Theology, all of which helped prepare her for a vocation as a Unitarian Universalist minister.
Wendy is passionate about climate justice. She is a graduate of the GreenFaith Fellowship Program, which was created to educate, equip and empower religious leaders of all religious traditions to become better environmental leaders. She was involved in efforts to try to stop the construction of the high pressure gas pipeline in West Roxbury. And she recently presented a paper on the prophetic role of pastors in helping to facilitate climate grief in local congregations.
Wendy currently lives in Arlington, MA, with her wife, Cathy, and their daughter, Katelynn. In her free time, Wendy loves to read, hike, camp, kayak, and spend time with her family, including her Cockapoo puppy, Winnie, and her cat, Wendell Berry. She also volunteers at a therapeutic riding program in Lincoln, and is learning to play the bagpipes.