First Unitarian Church of Oakland Ministerial Candidate!

(A Message from Your Ministerial Search Committee.)

Dear Members, Friends, Allies and Neighbors of the First Unitarian Church of Oakland,

It has been an honor to serve as your Ministerial Search Committee in the holy work of discerning the right match for our next settled minister. We are excited to introduce to you Rev. Theresa Soto, a minister whose gifts we believe have a deep resonance with the values, needs, and aspirations of this spiritually alive, radically inclusive, justice-centered congregation.

Rev. Soto (who uses the personal pronouns they/them/theirs) brings a remarkably loving presence and a depth of spiritual leadership. Their ministry demonstrates care and attention to interpersonal relationships and community building. Rev. Soto is invested in working collaboratively with the congregation to live more deeply into our mission and vision. They have said, “While I am prepared to lead a congregation, I want to do it in partnership with them, their dreams, their ideas, and their dearest values.” In the time that the Search Committee has spent with Rev. Soto, we have found them to be emotionally accessible, empathetic, thoughtful, and well-grounded. Rev. Soto represents our UU faith as a whole, and we feel confident that Rev. Soto will support and lovingly challenge us in our ongoing journey towards becoming a multicultural, multi-generational, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive beloved community.

Rev. Soto comes to us most recently from Ashland, Oregon, where they serve as an affiliated Community Minister at Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. They also serve as co-chair of the Journey Toward Wholeness Transformation Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Association, and co-vice president of Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUMM). They are a graduate of Quinnipiac University School of Law and Meadville Lombard Theological School. Their partner is the Rev. Sean Parker Dennison. You can see more information about Rev. Soto on their website. And, you can click here to view the video greeting Rev. Soto has sent to us.

We have enjoyed getting to know Rev. Soto over the course of the search process, and we are so excited for everyone to meet them in person! There will be many opportunities to get to know Rev. Soto during Candidate Week, April 28-May 5. During Candidate Week, Rev. Soto will preach on two Sundays, and meet with members of the congregation throughout the week. After the service on Sunday, May 5, there will be a congregational vote to decide whether to call Rev. Soto as our settled parish minister. Stay tuned for more details about how you can participate in this important time in the life of the congregation.

We extend deep gratitude to all of you, who have remained in covenant with us and contributed to this process in faith and love. We are filled with hope and joy for the future of the First Unitarian Church of Oakland.

Faithfully,

Ministerial Search Committee 2019

Noemi de Guzman, Chair
Donna Fujioka
Lynn Gallogly
Dan Goss
Brian Joaquin
Linda Propert Sanford
Sherry Weston-Vigil