The Interim Minister Search Committee is very pleased to announce that the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh has completed a final agreement with The Rev. Constance L. Grant to become our Interim Minister, beginning August 1, 2019.
Connie (as she prefers to be called) earned her MDiv. From Meadville Lombard Theological School in 2000. She comes to us after a two-year interim ministry at the UU Fellowship of Midland, MI. Previously, she had served as the called Congregational Life Minister at the Unitarian Church of Evanston, IL, Minister for Education at the UU Society of Sacramento, CA, and Interim Minister of Religious Education at the First Unitarian Church of Cleveland in Shaker Heights, OH. Early in her ministry, Connie also worked closely with the Lay Leadership Development Office of the UUA in their roll out of the Covenant Group Program.
The breadth of Connie’s experience in the ministerial transition process and in a wide variety of congregational ministerial roles were very appealing to your Search Team.
Connie is an accomplished and effective preacher, writer, and educator. Indeed, her use of metaphor and narrative in her sermons is masterful and moving. But she is not a flamboyant person. Her answers in her Ministerial Record and in our interview with her were concise, complete and reflected a no-nonsense experiential knowledge that we felt was extraordinary and particularly applicable to the challenges and opportunities we face here at First Unitarian.
The conversations that each of the members of the search committee had with the individuals whom Rev. Grant had suggested as references revealed that she has been consistently seen as an intelligent, warm, pragmatic leader. One of her former professors at Meadville Lombard said that Connie was the brightest students she ever had. Here’s what the president of the Board of The UU Fellowship of Midland said about her:
“Connie prioritized the things that needed to be done in order for us to become the healthy, functioning congregation we have the capacity to be and to complete the tasks needed to support our search for a settled minister. Although it may sound like hyperbole it is not an exaggeration to say that, within a few short weeks of her arrival, we felt like a community again.”
(Incidentally, the membership at the Midland congregation grew by 30% during Connie’s ministry there.)
We could go on, but we think you get the picture.
Connie is absolutely thrilled to be coming here and can't wait to begin her ministry at First UU. She requested that we share with you what she considers her professional mission: Helping people live lives of meaning and wholeness through Unitarian Universalist congregational life.
Our congregation has entered a transitional period when we move from who we were, to understanding who we are, to becoming who we are meant to be. Your Interim Minister Search Committee is confident that the Rev. Constance L. Grant is the minister to lead us on this journey.
INTERIM MINISTER SEARCH COMMITTEE
John Hooper, Chair
Al Schwartz, former Chair, who formed and led the team through 80% of the process
Azi Mussalehdan Block
Others: Martin Schmidt and Claus Makowka