I am writing this note to pass on some news that was discussed at our Board of Trustees meeting, November 15. You may find it interesting, even exciting.
Rev. Briere received a letter recently from Tiffany Sapp, who wishes to become a Unitarian Universalist minister. Tiffany attended Duke Divinity School 13 years ago. She has recently worked as a Religious Education Director at a Unitarian Universalist church and as a chaplain at the VA. She lives in Florida, but she has attended our church several times while visiting her parents. She wrote to ask Rev. Briere if she could intern at our church under his tutelage.
The process of becoming a Unitarian Universalist minister includes completing an internship. Obtaining an internship is competitive and difficult with few “teaching churches” available. If we accept Tiffany as an intern, it would help her, but also our church and the Unitarian Universalist Association as well.
An intern gains practical experience by assuming various ministerial tasks. She is under the direction of a committee of congregants and is supervised directly by the regular minister. Tiffany is very interested in working with small group ministry, and we thought she might also help develop programs to attract and retain young adults to our church. Tiffany is also interested in pastoral care, so she might be a boon to the Caring Team. She could provide some sermons, especially during the summer, and participate in services with Rev. Briere. (Her sermons are available on youtube.com).
Recently Tiffany drove from Florida to consult with Rev. Briere about an internship. Spencer Conco (Vice-President) and George Cross (Stewardship Trustee) met with her too. All three recommend we provide Tiffany with an internship if we can afford to do so while also developing and supporting existing programs and employees.
Interns require a monthly stipend. Tiffany told us she recognizes it would not be practical for HVUUC to pay the UUA-recommended salary of $1,400/mo. The Board is considering Tiffany’s particular circumstances and what her stipend would look like. Health care benefits are provided via her husband’s employer.
A typical internship lasts 9-12 months. We believe it would cost about $10,000 to hire Tiffany as an intern (including FICA, etc.). This would be a one-time event, not a recurring item on future budgets (unless we chose to do so). The Board voted to explore the possibility of funding this internship separately from our regular fund-raising to determine if hiring Tiffany is feasible. The Board has already received a pledge from an anonymous congregant to pay $5,000 towards her internship, and numerous friends/family of Tiffany have written to pledge various amounts, which brings the total to $9,750 (as of this writing). The remaining $250 seems achievable. If you would like to pledge some amount toward this endeavor, please contact George Cross at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions or concerns or a wish for greater detail, please feel free to contact me, Rev. Briere, or any Board member.
David Kashdan President, Board of Trustees