Welcome the New Team

Energy was high in the Sanctuary last Sunday (Homecoming) with Melanie DeMore leading the combined adult choirs and moving testimonies from Erika Landberg, Bill Rice and Toni Ohliger. The ice cream after the service was, if you’ll pardon the mixed metaphor, icing on the cake.

That energy will continue: RE returns this Sunday (9/17) along with the launch of the new Core Connections adult faith development programs. During the September 24 weekend, we will begin a Feasibility Study to deal with the challenges to our historic building. And on Oct 1, the first “Find Your Ministry” Fair.

We’ve already had a successful “Sunday Summit” for the volunteers that make visitors to All Souls feel welcome.

I want to invite you all to welcome the new faces on the staff, and welcome familiar faces in new positions.

Keith Arnold will be leading our Music and Arts program this year. As Acting Director. Keith is the much loved Minister of Music at the Golden Colorado UU Church, past President of the Association of UU Music Ministries and a respected music leader throughout Unitarian Universalism. He hopes to make “great music” with us before returning to Golden next year. Keith will direct the All Souls Choir and the Children’s Choir.

Professor Angela Powell Walker returns to All Souls after more than a decade in Cincinnati, where she served as the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s Artistic Director, and the School for Creative and Performing Arts’ Artistic Manager. In DC, she is Assistant Professor at Howard University’s Chadwick Boseman School of Fine Arts. At All Souls, Angela’s voice continues to sound in the All Souls Choir as Soprano Section Leader, and All Souls has now engaged Angela as Acting Associate Director of Music and Arts where she will lead numerous Black American Music Sundays and direct the Junior Choir.

Amelia Peele, also a Section Leader in the All Souls Choir, known and loved by many in our community, will also bring her passion for the many traditions of jazz to several Black American Music Sunday’s.

Dr. Carl DuPont brings experience as a professional singer, an advocate for culturally inclusive education, and an empowering teacher to All Souls, as he serves as Acting Director of the Jubilee Singers. His current posts include Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute, and a recent session at the Kennedy Center, where he taught young singers performance skills.

And in Religious Education, Michele Anderson has joined the team as Youth Ministry Coordinator. Michele brings years of experience working with children and youth both professionally and through volunteer work. From teaching Preschoolers that they have a right to say no to unwanted touches to guiding High School Scouts through completion of over 100 hours of a service project they were passionate about, she loves supporting children and teens to become who they want to be.

Ebonie Bazemore, a familiar face and welcoming presence at the front desk, has accepted the position of RE Assistant, supporting the range of faith formation programs and activities for our children and youth.

And Rose Eaton has added the Membership portfolio to her responsibilities for Communications. Her energy and creativity is already evident in the Welcoming Wednesday offerings that began last week. She has help from Gary Penn, who will continue his data management responsibilities virtually from his new home in Portland, ME.

Madalin Gomez, another familiar face at the front desk, is now also the Communications Assistant, helping with the church’s social media accounts.

We have a full team in place!

I hope you will take the time to introduce yourself to the new staff as you encounter them. They are already working hard and well. Our welcome of them is just as important as the welcome we offer the visitors that continue to join us every Sunday.

In this season of so many changes, I found myself reflecting on this short piece by Leslie Takahashi this morning:

Here in this place of peace, may we find hope.
Here in this place of connection, may we find life-giving community.
Here in this place of rest, let the unrest of our hearts turn us toward justice.
Here in this place made sacred by memories of connection,
Let us each feel ourselves part of the new that grows from the old
In the spiraling unity of years.

Many blessings,

Rev. Bill

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Constance Row

    Amen, with hope for the future.

  2. Dianne Lang Brown

    Wonderful news about all the changes – and the caliber of team leaders is outstanding! Thanks to you all for including All Souls in your busy lives.

  3. Carol

    Thank you for the staff updates and pictures! And for this last peace:) I’m feeling it.

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