David Green began serving the Amarillo Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in 2009 as part-time consulting minister. In 2011 he became the AUUF’s first full-time minister in the congregation’s 65-year history. During his tenure the Fellowship’s active membership has tripled. He resigns his post on November 8, 2015.
At that point, the Fellowship begins a transition between full time ministers. Sunday services and messages are being led and presented by our very talented worship team and a variety of terrific speakers. Please check our calendar for details.
David’s letter to the board explaining his reasons for resigning follows.
October 11, 2015
I am resigning as minister of the Amarillo Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, effective Sunday, November 8, 2015. In my message this coming Sunday, October 18, I will address this – but much of what I’ll say that day is described below.
More than words can express, I appreciate the opportunity of serving you for six years. I am working with our leadership to ensure a smooth transition, and I have faith the AUUF will continue growing, thriving, and living out its mission and vision.
Three factors brought me to this decision.
Most importantly, the goals I was asked to pursue when I began as Consulting Minister in 2009 have largely been met and even exceeded. Our administrative functions and internal communications have improved, we consistently offer a quality worship experience, and our membership and financial giving has grown considerably. We’ve built a stronger culture of welcoming, increased our social action work, added more education, fellowship, and social programs, focused on leadership development, and enhanced our visibility and standing in the community.
I feel very good about all these things, but never imagined I would serve the AUUF nearly as long as I have; the time has flown by! Every member should be proud of all we’ve achieved in a relatively short time, and be confident about the AUUF’s future.
Secondly, while my beliefs clearly align with Unitarian Universalist principles, I am not an ordained UU minister. This is no mere technicality. I have maintained professional standing with my denomination of origin, and have no such relationship with the Unitarian Universalist Association. This inhibits the AUUF’s ability to participate in the work of the UUA.
With that in mind, early in my tenure I set a goal of helping the AUUF grow to a sustainable level where recruiting an ordained UU minister would be feasible. Happily, the AUUF now has a membership size, attendance, activity, and budget well above most UU churches. It is an attractive, healthy, growing congregation with strong leadership, and is in a robust position to secure the services of a great UU minister from anywhere. We are well known and highly regarded in UU circles.
So, the Fellowship deserves and will have no problem finding a legitimate and highly qualified UU minister. Its identity, mission, and relationship with the UUA will be greatly enhanced, and your new minister will bring fresh energy, insight, and leadership. It’s an exciting opportunity.
Third, there is a season for everything, and this is simply the right moment for me to explore a new professional path.
Recently I learned of a newly created position at Amarillo College, which I have accepted. The role of Director of Corporate Engagement at AC will be within the Division of Employee and Organizational Development (formerly Human Resources). It will allow me to enhance my skills and experience in training, orientation, internal communications, and corporate culture transformation.
Since the AUUF has not experienced a transition quite like this in recent memory, an important protocol must be addressed. When a minister leaves a church, misunderstandings about relationship roles can arise, especially when the former minister continues to live in the same community, as I will.
On a personal level I will always be your friend. But professional ministerial ethics and etiquette dictate that I will no longer have a pastoral relationship with you or be able to perform ministerial functions such as memorial services or weddings. I follow a ministerial code of ethics requiring this.
This surely does not mean I no longer care about you, only that the appropriate ethical conduct for me is to step away from a ministerial relationship with the AUUF and its members.
There are sound reasons for this. The person who will be your interim or permanent minister must be fully empowered with all the responsibilities and authority previously granted to me. To enable that minister to be effective, I cannot be a presence at the Fellowship – at least, not for quite some time – or act as a minister to AUUF members. That must be appreciated and respected for the good of all.
One last thought. The Fellowship is in the planning stages of enlarging the facility, and although any ministerial transition might temporarily result in a shift in focus, it should not hamper the progress of that project. The need for a larger building is obvious, and has been for some time. The AUUF has grown from a “pastor-centered” to a “program-centered” church. Expanding to accommodate the Fellowship’s needs is about the members and the AUUF’s mission. It’s not contingent on whoever happens to be your minister. I urge you to go forward in confidence. Build it!
You have my deepest gratitude for the opportunity of serving you, and I will miss doing so. It has been a delightful six years for me, and a high privilege to share both challenging and wonderful life moments with you. I will forever be thankful.
Thanks and peace,