Congregational Experience

Alison Headshot_UU World copy

Alison has a depth and breadth of congregational leadership and service that is an asset for the President of the UUA. She is in her eleventh year serving as the Senior Minister of the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, which has grown in spirit, in numbers, in community and in impact. Prior to Morristown, Alison served the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City as an Assistant Minister and the All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa as an Intern Minister.

Alison has worked at the UUA on a national fundraising campaign for youth and young adult ministry known as Mind the Gap. She was hired because of her intimate knowledge of congregational systems, her experience with congregational stewardship, her organizing strengths, and her demonstrated ability to engage lay leaders and religious professionals.

Alison’s leadership and service in congregational life as a volunteer and staff member at the Unitarian Church of All Souls, NYC, began as a youth and continued through entering divinity school. By the time she entered divinity school, she held key positions as the founder of a large Young Adult Ministry, as the Youth Director, and as the Administrative Support for the Senior Minister and Assistant to the Director of Development.

 

CONGREGATIONAL MINISTRY AND STAFF ROLES

Senior Minister, Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, Morristown, NJ, 8/2005 – Present

Spiritual leader in a decade of vibrancy and growth, including increasing adult members from 240 to above 350 and children from 75 to 115. Supervise, coordinate and collaborate with staff team. Collaborate with Board to set vision, policy, and strategic goals. Initiate first five-year Strategic Planning Process and co-design process with consultants and Strategic Planning Team, including broad based input from members, visitors, and wider community. Implement plans, including delegate and motivate staff and volunteers to ensure that morale, follow through, learning opportunities, and measurements of outcomes continue throughout the five years. Lead and develop worship and spiritual life of congregation to meet greater pluralism of members and visitors. Engage in opportunities for stewardship and fundraising, including a capital campaign in which we raised over five times annual giving (2.3 million dollars). Facilitate expansion of religious education offerings for children, youth and adults to attract young families and meet needs of a lifelong faith into the elder years. Collaborate with social justice leaders to deepen and broaden our social justice ministry to include education, advocacy, service, fundraising, public witness, interfaith organizing and coalition building. Launch social media and online connections to facilitate additional opportunities for spiritual reflection and building community.

Various Paid Staff Positions, All Souls Church, New York, NY

Acting Assistant Minister, 6/2004 – 7/2005
Oversee 35 Community Building, Community Service, Advocacy Programs and Church Council. Inspire the vision and partner with lay-leaders to create solid support structures for these groups. Provide pastoral care. Lead and assist in Sunday Morning Worship. Supervise some staff and a seminarian. Teach in the Adult Education program. Officiate at rites of passage. Support Small Group Ministries. Lead annual Spiritual Retreat. Facilitate Young Adult worships and programs, as well as start NYU Campus Ministry.

Assistant to the Ministers and the Director of Development, 9/1997 – 9/2000
Managed administrative details for the ministers and connected with contributions/ fundraising. Planned and coordinated events. Assisted with research and editing of books, articles, and sermons. Represented the ministers. Created and maintained databases.

Youth Ministry Director, 9/19986/2000
Responsible for youth programming and worship, ages 14-18, including three area congregations. Facilitated weekly meetings on varying social, ethical and religious topics. Advocated for and cultivated youth leadership.

Assistant to Director of Religious Education, 9/19966/1998

Office Assistant/ Receptionist, Summer 1993, 1994 and 9/19969/1997

Church School Sexton, 9/1989 – 6/1992
Responsible for classroom set up and clean up, including organizing RE supplies and equipping teachers with materials for weekly lessons. (1st paid staff role as a youth.)

Ministerial Intern and Summer Minister, All Souls Church, Tulsa, OK, 8/2003 – 7/2004

Completed Preaching Scholar’s program. Led or assisted in Sunday morning worship, Wednesday Chapels, Soulful Sundown and Children’s Chapel. Officiated at rites of passage. Taught six adult education series. Taught classes with children and youth. Created original curricula or worked with UUA curricula. Provided pastoral care. Served and collaborated on the Executive Staff Group.

 

VOLUNTEER LEADERSHIP ROLES

 All Souls, New York

  • Young Adults Group, Founder & Coordinator, 1998 – 2000
  • Wednesday After School Program, 1998 – 2000
  • Lead Teacher, 1996 – 1998
  • Assistant Teacher, 1989 1992

 

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION FOR CONGREGATIONAL WORK

Personal Recognition

  • UUA Donna DiSciullo Young Adult and Campus Ministry Award, 2003
  • UU Metro-NY Youth Ministry Award, 2000

 Organizational Recognition

  • UU Metro-NY O. Eugene Pickett Growth Award, Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 2015
  • UU Metro-NY Threshold Congregation, Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 2012 – 2015
  • Gay Activist Alliance of Morris County Award, 2012
  • Anchor Congregation, All Souls Young Adult Ministry, 2005

For more about Alison’s congregational experience, go to Alison’s Ministry page.

Check out Alison’s full resume here: Alison_Resume.2017