If you haven’t heard, the ministerial search committee has some pretty big news to share, but first, let me remind you of the journey we’ve been on together these last 7 months. We’ve been following the 4 stages of the UUA’s lead minister search process. 

Stage 1: Reflection

We started the search process by reflecting on who we are as a congregation and about our shared vision for the future. Through the Congregational Survey and 21 cottage meetings with congregants of all ages, we said that we long to be an engaged, vibrant, and welcoming community. 

Stage 2: Sharing

Then we moved to the sharing phase and the search committee reflected back your hopes and vision for UU Asheville. You said you want to be connected, inspired, and challenged to live your values and that our lead minister should be collaborative, have good listening skills, and a kind heart.

Stage 3: Researching and Evaluating

Then came confidential work of researching and evaluating candidates. While you haven’t heard from us for a while, I assure you that the committee has not been slacking. Since January the committee has read over 200 pages of information about ministers, visited many, many websites and if I’m being honest, watched more UU sermons than I usually see in a year. And in March, we spent a weekend with each of our final 3 candidates conducting multi-day interviews and observing the candidates in pulpits around the area. 

Stage 4: Candidating

All of this was in preparation for the day the committee could choose a candidate and then introduce that candidate to you. It was with great pleasure and excitement that the search committee introduced Dr. Rev. Audette Fulbright Fulson to the congregation this Sunday. 

You can find lots of great information about Rev. Audette in her welcome message and bio, but here’s my favorite fun fact about her:

Rev. Audette has served this congregation before. In 1998, she came to UU Asheville as an intern planning to go into community ministry. It was her work with this congregation that convinced her parish ministry was where she should be. 

Rev. Audette says returning to UU Asheville as lead minister, “feels like coming home.”

Let’s welcome Rev. Audette back to UU Asheville. Plan to meet and welcome her during Candidating Week April 23rd-30th. There are several “Get to Know Rev. Audette” events planned, with the week culminating in our congregational vote.

In the meantime, watch your email for more information about Rev. Audette, Candidating Week, and the important role you play in the voting process. 

Let’s show Rev. Audette how excited we are to welcome her!

Gina Phairas, Chair, Ministerial Search Committee

If you missed the announcement of the Rev. Dr. Audette Fulbright Fulson’s candidacy, check out her bio on the MSC Website.