Important News from Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees (Jan. 2022)

Dear Members and Friends, It is with deep emotion that I write to share with you my decision to retire from UU Berks and full-time ministry in July 2022. I have been in spiritual discernment for a while about the best timing for the congregation and for me. I share this news now so that we will have plenty of time in the coming months to reflect on and celebrate our shared ministry.  

I am profoundly grateful for these 18 years together and the trust you have placed in me. I came to you as a newly ordained minister, and this was my first—and only—settled ministry. When I arrived, I shared my hope that we would have a long, healthy ministry together. And here we are, all these years later, having built a vibrant church community and fostered a faithful and loving relationship.

I am proud and humbled by all that we have achieved together. The church has been a vital, welcoming place of worship, learning and justice-seeking. Together, we have nurtured the spiritual lives of members, friends, children and youth and deepened our connection and love for Unitarian Universalism. We have celebrated births, marriages, and retirements, and also mourned the deaths of our beloveds as well as marking so many other special moments. 

Together, we grew the membership, built financial strength, renovated our beautiful historic space, and expanded our staffing. Justice-seeking became a centerpiece of our congregational life. The church continued to address food insecurity through the Food Pantry and also became a Welcoming Congregation, adopted the 8th Principle, worked to shutter the Berks Detention Center, supported Family Promise, and collected thousands of dollars annually through special collections for community organizations. 

As I retire from UU Berks, it is my fondest wish that this congregation have a healthy and smooth ministerial transition. The church leadership will guide the church community through the process, and I have every confidence in their and your tremendous capability. It will be a time to reflect on and envision the future direction of the congregation. While there may be a sense of uncertainty, I hope, too, there will be a spirit of excitement about the congregation’s path forward. 

I love all of you and the community at UU Berks. More than anything, we have developed strong covenantal relationships and connections. I continue to be inspired and encouraged by the care you offer to each other, to the larger community and to me. I continue to be amazed by who you are. 
 
With love,
Rev. Sandra

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