3970 Northwest 21st Avenue
                                              Oakland Park, Florida 33309

                                              954-484-6734            
                                              email
uucfl@aol.com

 

© 2019 by Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ft Lauderdale

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Our Minister
Reverend Susan M. Smith


Rev. Susan returns to serving our shared UU faith in one place with one congregation after twelve years of work in the greater UU community.
In 2004, she became an Emerging Congregation Specialist with our Florida District. In 2006, she became the District Executive of the Southwestern Conference of our UUA, which had the distinction of being the district with the most congregations and the second largest geographical area.
Since then, the Southern Region was formed from our four Southern U.S. districts, increasing her “parish” to 13 states, Mexico and the islands.
She has preached at and consulted with more than 100 congregations, consulted with the Boards of our UUA and our UU Ministers Association, worked with a wide variety of congregational clusters, and taught close to 1000 leaders at our Southern Region Leadership Experiences and as guest educator for our UU Musicians’ Network. 


Rev Susan's Journey to UUCFL: 

As I write this, I’m two weeks away from relocating from my hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana to begin my time as your developmental minister. 
It’s twelve years since I did the “ordinary” ministerial work of serving our shared UU faith in one place with one congregation.
In 2004, I became an Emerging Congregation Specialist with our Florida District.  In 2006, I became the District Executive of the Southwestern Conference of our UUA, which had the distinction of being the district with the most congregations and the second largest geographical area.
Since then, the Southern Region was formed from our four Southern U.S. districts, increasing my “parish” to 13 states, Mexico and the islands.
I’ve preached at and consulted with more than 100 congregations, consulted with the Boards of our UUA and our UU Ministers Association, worked with a wide variety of congregational clusters, and taught close to 1000 leaders at our Southern Region Leadership Experiences and as guest educator for our UU Musicians’ Network. When people asked how I liked this kind of ministry, I always said, “I have too much energy for just one congregation.”

 

When I retired from the UUA back in January of 2016, I had no plans to look for “just one congregation” in which to continue my ministry, but one day I curiously opened a link on an email from our Transitions Office and read through the materials of congregations looking for “developmental” ministry. Ministry holds periodic mystical moments in which there is a sense of destiny, of fate, of calling, of having one’s “Spidey-sense” tingling; and I definitely experienced such a moment as I read (and then re-read to my husband Robert) the description of the ministry that your congregation envisioned for itself. I could see seriousness, optimism, practicality and just a touch of what we call in the Change Business “pain.” “Pain” when we are talking about doing big is a mixture of dissatisfaction with things as they are and a hunger for something exciting that could be. It must be strong enough to overcome the typical inertia of systems and sufficiently life-giving to keep us fueled for the hard work of growth and change. In short, you looked to be serious about doing something absolutely wonderful, and I want to be a part of that.
 

Not only do you seem to be the right church to accomplish the goals that you have formed, but southeast Florida is a very exciting place to do the shared work of our UU faith at the moment. When most of the country fears the “Browning” of America, you are serving an area of rich complexity. The opening of Cuba means more where you are than just new tourism opportunities. Sea level rise must be taken into account in any long-term planning where you live. 


I can’t wait to hear what your dreams and visions may be as we embark on this new ministry together. 
 

Blessings, 
Rev. Susan

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