At the MSUS Congregational Meeting April 24, 2016, the congregation voted unanimously to call the Rev. Laura Smidzik as our next minister! The meeting was well attended, and the announcement of the result of the vote was greeted with cheers and extended applause. The celebration was made special with the Rev. Laura, her mother, Ann, and her wife, Linda, returning after the vote to share the joy.
The congregational vote was the culmination of a two year search process, and an intense candidating week, with twenty meetings and events, and two sermons, for the congregation and Rev. Laura to start to get to know each other. Rev. Laura will start her ministry with us on August 1, 2016.
Rev. Laura has served in executive positions in several non-profits in the Twin Cities and elsewhere, including the March of Dimes, the Rainbow Coalition, the 515 Project, and the Minnesota UU Social Justice Alliance. She served as a lay leader at Unity Church Unitarian, including serving as its Board President. Rev. Laura is a graduate of Beloit College, has an M.A. in Educational Policy from the University of Minnesota, and received her M.Div. from United Theological Seminary. Rev. Laura served her parish internship at First Universalist Church, Minneapolis, and her Clinical Pastoral Education (chaplaincy) at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Rev. Laura has been the Minister of Membership at White Bear Lake UU Church since July, 2014.
We on the Search Committee are grateful that such a stellar minister answered our call. We are also deeply appreciative of the congregation’s engagement, support and assistance in the process. Your personal thanks, hugs, and support mean a lot.
We are looking forward to our start-up workshop with Rev. Laura in the fall, and for her installation ceremony as our minister at a date to be determined. If you have ideas about, or are interested in helping with either of these events, or in serving on the to-be newly formed Committee on Ministry, please let Lisa Monson-Hokenson know.
Yours in community - Michele Wallace, Kathy Burek, Kasi A, Merle D, Doyle M, Leslie V, and Ben W