December 2021

Letter from the Ministerial Search Committee

Your Ministerial Search Committee is thrilled to recommend Reverend Jacqueline Brett as the candidate for our lead minister. Under our by-laws the Board is required to concur in our recommendation; they have unanimously endorsed Rev. Brett as the candidate for our next lead minister.

Why is Rev. Brett our chosen candidate? We have selected Rev. Brett because we firmly believe that she is the right person to help ERUUF realize our vision of being a welcoming and radically inclusive congregation with deep spiritual and personal connections, a congregation that radiates joy, love and a spirit of generosity and one that actively works for racial, economic, social and environmental justice.  Rev. Brett’s qualities are a combination of personal strength and skill that is born from the experiences of life and professional public relations work experience.  She knows how to promote teamwork and has a charismatic management style that recognizes one's skills even before the individual realizes they possess them.  She charms, challenges, and inspires. Below are specific reasons for our recommendation:

Her work is driven by a deep well of compassion and emphasizes the creation of possibilities.Rev. Brett believes in the power of possibilities and has a profound desire to help others realize those possibilities. Her personal experiences—which include growing up in a housing project, desegregating an all-white elementary school in New York, and living as a Queer woman of color—have given her wisdom, compassion, and an incredible perspective that she brings to her work. We see ERUUF on the cusp of realizing our vast possibilities and believe that Reverend Brett is the one who can move us in that direction. One of our focus group participants articulated their hopes for the future, hopes that we believe are very aligned with what Rev. Brett can and wants to do: “At the end of the first year, I want my heart to soar with the potential possibilities…I want to have a sense of joy for what is happening. I want this person to respect the past but also see the future possibilities; glimmers of new forms of what we can do and how we can do things better, a sense of the future dimension of what we could do.”   

She is an outstanding preacher.ERUUFians believed that the ability to create inspiring sermons and services was the most important role for a minister to play.  We have been the lucky recipients of many of her powerful and moving sermons, but you may not know that she is recognized for her preaching nationally. She is recipient of the Charles Billing Prize in Preaching from Meadville Lombard Theological School and regularly receives requests from other congregations to preach.  Powerful Sunday services are one of the best ways to create a sense of excitement in our congregation and build our membership; we are very excited about what our Sunday services could look like with Rev. Brett at the helm. 

She has proven that she can develop strong programming that builds connections among members.  We considered all of what Rev. Brett has been able to accomplish in her time with us. She started our Kwanzaa services, a much-beloved ERUUF tradition. She conceptualized and started the Inquirers series, our program for people who are interested in becoming members, programming that has been highly successful and is now fully institutionalized and run by lay leaders. She partnered with the NCCU Music Department to implement a valued Jazz Vespers program. These are only a few highlights and we believe that this is only the tip of what she will be able to do with us at ERUUF.  

From all this praise, you may think we believe that she is perfect. She is human, like all of us, and you may have seen her make mistakes in her time with us. That is good, because a person who does not make mistakes is one who is not pushing the boundaries of what they can do. We have seen that Rev. Brett is always learning and growing. She may not be perfect, but she may just be perfect for us.

What are the next steps? Over the month of January, Rev. Brett will be meeting with various groups as part of what is known as candidating week. She will also fully lead two services on her own. The Board will schedule a congregational meeting that will provide an opportunity for people to ask questions of the Search Committee and discuss their thoughts about this recommendation. The meeting will culminate in a vote to call her. To call a minister, our by-laws require that 25% of our members (approximately 190 members) attend this meeting and that 80% of meeting attendees vote “yes.”  

One final note: When you see someone regularly, it can be hard to remember just how amazing they are. Please visit Rev. Brett’s website http://revjacquelinebrett.com/  to learn more about what drives her, see her many accomplishments, and read the ringing endorsements that she receives from colleagues throughout the UUA. 

Please reach out to the Search Committee at