Meet Rev. Neal Anderson during Candidating Week April 28 – May 5!

You can hear and meet Rev. Neal at church during several all-church activities listed below. He is also eager to meet you where you live, and will be available for coffee and conversation at four neighborhood coffee shops.

In between these all-church opportunities to meet Rev. Neal, he is scheduled to meet with church staff members and numerous church committees such as our Board of Trustees, Pastoral Care, Building & Grounds, Social Justice, Music, Celebrations, Inclusion and Diversity, Finance & Investment, RE volunteers & families and more.

We hope you will join us in introducing yourself and welcoming him into our beloved community.

Sunday, April 28
10:30 – 11:30 am, Rev. Neal Anderson leads worship
11:30 am – 1 pm, Meet the Minister Extended Coffee Hour

Tuesday, April 30
9:00 – 11:00 am, Meet the Minister Open House
Chapin Room, with refreshments

2:00 – 3:00 pm, Coffee & Conversation
Blue Owl Coffee, 1149 S Washington Ave (in REO Town), Lansing

Wednesday, May 1
2:30 – 3:30 pm, Coffee & Conversation
Espresso Royale Coffee, 1500 W. Lake Lansing Road (by Meijer), East Lansing

Thursday, May 2
2:15 – 3:15 pm, Coffee & Conversation
Chapbook Cafe at Schuler Books, 1982 Grand River Ave (at Meridian Mall), Okemos

Friday, May 3
1:30 – 2:30 pm, Coffee & Conversation
Panera Bread, 5212 West Saginaw Highway (by Lansing Mall), Lansing

Saturday, May 4
1:30 – 3:30 pm, Meet the Minister Open House
Social Hall, with refreshments

Sunday, May 5
10:30 – 11:30 am, Rev. Neal Anderson leads worship
Immediately following service: Congregational Vote!


Ministerial Search Committee update — We have a candidate!

We are thrilled to announce our candidate for our new settled minister:  Rev. Neal T. Anderson! He was chosen by strong unanimous consent. We encourage you to save Candidating Week, Sunday, April 28 – Sunday, May 5 for opportunities to meet and hear Rev. Neal.  He is eager to meet and listen to you!

The Rev. Neal T. Anderson was ordained to the Unitarian Universalist ministry in 2008 upon graduation from Starr King School for the Ministry and an internship at West Shore UU in Cleveland, OH. Previously, he served the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Nevada in Reno as senior minister for 9 years where he created vibrant and transformative worship and led the effort to create a faith-based community organizing network in Northern Nevada. Rev. Neal also led the congregation in declaring itself a Sanctuary Congregation and accepting requests for sanctuary from two local residents. He is currently serving as Minister for Justice and Engagement at the Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church in Walnut Creek, California.

Prior to his call to Unitarian Universalist ministry, Rev. Neal completed a B.A, B.Ed. and M.Ed. from the University of Saskatchewan and taught school for 10 years.  He feels a deep call to pursue ministry as a vehicle to create a spiritually alive, radically inclusive and justice-centered Unitarian Universalist congregation. You can visit his website, for recordings of some of his previous sermons and other information.

As a search committee, we centered our search around the work, hopes and aspirations of our congregation. These wishes are well-reflected in the congregational survey and focus group reports, which are now available on the Ministerial Search Committee page on the UU Lansing website. We heard a desire for a minister who is highly collaborative, personally warm and approachable, with a passion for social justice and experience in community engagement and increasing inclusion and diversity. We heard a wish for someone who can lead inspiring worship services and celebrations and help us grow our place in our wider community.  We believe we have found that someone and more in Rev. Neal Anderson. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and wishes with us throughout this journey, and thank you again for the trust you have placed in us to make this decision. We are truly looking forward to introducing you to Rev. Neal during Candidating Week!

MSC Formation:

The Ministerial Search Committee (MSC) was selected in April 2018 by a set of procedures approved by the congregation at a previous congregational meeting.  Nominations were received in February, and all people (14) who submitted an application were placed on the ballot.  Members of the congregation voted for four individuals.  The Board appointed the other three members of the committee to achieve balance in skills and backgrounds.

MSC members at August RetreatThis image shows members of the Search Committee at the August Retreat (from L to R): Susan Rothfuss, chair, Annemarie Hodges, Andrew Quinn, Barbara Stoddard, Daniel DeVaney, Kathy Lovell, and Elizabeth Fedorchuk. (You can reach us any time at Scroll down below for background information about each member.

A candidate has been selected – more information will be posted here soon.  Candidating Week is April 28 – May 5, 2019. 

Documents from Congregational Survey, Focus Groups & Dec. 2, 2018 information session.

Survey report

       Focus group report

Congregational record submitted to UUA

       Description of search process at Dec 2 session

Powerpoint slides presented at Dec 2 session (and additional ones not shown due to time constraints)

A general timeline of our search process is shown below.  A detailed timeline from the UUA can be viewed by by clicking here.

timeline summary - congregational items listed below.

April 28 – May 5, 2019 – Candidating Week

You can get more information about the entire process from the UUA transitions website by clicking here.

MSC members  – pictures and background information

Daniel DeVaney
I have been a member of this church for thirty two years. Some of my personal highlights include serving as the chair of the Committee on Ministry for three ministers, being on all five intern minister committees—three as chair, a covenant group leader for eleven years—three as chair, and as the chair of the Life Span Faith Development Director’s Committee on Ministry. I have been a mentor in the Coming of Age program several times, attended two General Assemblies,  and was a member of Kathryn Bert’s search committee. I currently teach English as a second language at the church through the RDC.
Elizabeth Fedorchuk
I became a member in 2001 and joined the Religious Education Committee in 2004 and have served there ever since. Over the years, I have served as a Coming of Age facilitator, led countless sessions for children and youth, and helped coordinate events such as Church Pals, Seder Supper, Giving Tree and Deck the Halls. This year I am co-coordinating the Preschool Class and serve as chair of the RE Committee. Outside of RE, I have served on the Nominations Committee and Safe Congregations Task Force, been a regional delegate, and attended General Assembly. Since 2013, I have also greatly enjoyed serving on our Hospitality Team. And for many years I have helped coordinate our all-church retreat over Memorial Day weekend at Yankee Springs
AnneMarie Hodges
I have been a member of UUCGL since 2008, when I came seeking support and community for my son (Ben) and I, after my divorce from his father. I immediately began volunteering in Ben’s RE classes, and continued until he began OWL this year. I was also a member, then coordinator of the Sound/PowerPoint volunteer corps (2011-13). I had the privilege of serving on the Board from 2013-15, and most recently was invited to serve on the ad hoc Diversity & Inclusion advisory group, formed by Rev. Bert prior to her departure.
Kathy Lovell
I started attending the UU Lansing church in 1979, when my daughter was in kindergarten. I have been a teacher for RE classes, member and chair of the Celebrations Committee at several different times, including while Kathryn Bert was on sabbatical, served on the Board in the 1990s (including the role of VP for Finance), and again since 2012 (including as President). I was one of the four members of the Dream Implementation Team to oversee planning and renovations of the new building. I have been a delegate at about five Regional and General Assembly gatherings. In 2015 I attended the UUA conference in Birmingham “Marching in the Arc of Justice,” honoring the 50th anniversary of the Selma Voting Rights campaign.
Andrew Quinn
I have participated in Journey toward Wholeness, Committee to End the New Jim Crow, UUCGL Board, two UU Heartland regional assemblies and attended two UU General Assemblies. i have attended a wide variety of activities and served an active role in many.
Susan Rothfuss
I joined UUCGL May 8, 2014. While attending the Wisdom Path Class in the summer of 2014 I was recruited to work on the Annual Pledge Drive, which I subsequently chaired .I chaired the concurrent, initial Capital Campaign committee as well. I volunteered to organize weekday “Painting Parties” for volunteers. Along with the weekend painters we completed painting the RE and Office wings.
–Organizations: Early in 2014 I began to attend Forum regularly and have participated in their discussion for several years. I hosted one of the dinners offered as a church auction item, helped with the cookie sale to raise money for the church.  I also attend Adult RE classes and the new “Let’s Grow” group.
–Member: MI Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence
Barbara Stoddard
Began attending in Sept. 2015 and became a member in early 2016.  Delegate to this year’s General Assembly.  I am a member of the Chalice Choir, Women’s Chorus, the Celebrations Committee and serve on a Hospitality Team.  I have over 20 years experience as a professional religious educator. 10 of those years I was an Interim Director of Lifespan Faith Development.  In addition, I was a member of the team that developed the national training for UU Interim Religious Educators