The Reverend Katie Lee Crane began a two-year tenure as interim minister of on Aug. 15. She succeeds the Rev. John Buehrens, who served from 2002-12.
Interim ministers are specifically charged with helping UU congregations through times of transition. After Buehrens’ 11 years of service, a time of significant growth at Needham’s oldest house of worship, the congregation will engage in a two-year process of discernment as part of its preparation to call a new “settled” minister. This will be the third such appointment for Crane, who served as a transitional Minister at the Unitarian Association of Hartford (CT) this past year and, earlier, at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Laconia (NH).
"Doing transitional ministry reminds me of what a fertile and exciting time the 'in between' times can be," Crane said. “It’s human nature to want to get ‘back to normal’ as soon as possible, but times like these offer a chance to reflect upon what we want the new ‘normal’ to be,” she explains. “It is a time to appreciate our gifts and to dream of new possibilities.”
Prior to Hartford, Crane served for 13 years as the settled Minister of First Parish in Sudbury. She has also served in various roles in Reading and Winchester. She is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, and also holds an M.A. in Liberal Studies from Dartmouth College and a B.A. from Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio.
"John Buehrens left this congregation in great shape on so many different dimensions," First Parish President Nate Harrington. "With Katie Lee, we know that we won't miss a beat—not with Sunday morning worship, nor with our many other programs including our many social justice initiatives, our Youth and Seniors Groups, the Homegrown Coffeehouse and our various music programs. We expect the next two years to be busy as we search for a permanent minister and are very grateful to have Katie Lee here to guide us through this process."
First Parish is a liberal religious community that is open to all. Unitarian Universalists live by a shared set of principles that encourages each member to engage in a responsible search for truth and meaning in the company of others; there is no creed which all must profess. First Parish has also earned two important UU designations: It is a “Welcoming Congregation,” indicating the congregation's commitment to the presence and participation of GLBT members and guests, and a “Green Sanctuary,” recognizing the congregation's commitment to engage in both individual and collective efforts to live mindfully on this earth.
First Parish is located just off the town square at 23 Dedham Ave (route 135). Sunday worship and Religious Education for children both begin at 10:30 a.m. The energy-efficient building has earned EnergyStar status and is fully accessible. Please enter through the Lincoln Street doors. There is ample parking in the town lot off of Lincoln Street.
For more information, go to www.uuneedham.org or call the Parish office at 781-444-0823.