“This is the faith that calls to me – even in its disappointments, still it is worth showing up for and dedicating my life to. It has a life-saving message that many people need to hear, not only people on the margins, but the people who are already in our pews.” – Jessica Clay, MDiv.
Jessica currently is finishing up a yearlong internship at Unity Church – Unitarian in St. Paul, Minn. As you might know, Unity is one of the most significant Unitarian Universalist congregations in the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), with approximately 1,100 adults and 400 children attending. Its work in church leadership development and governance have earned Unity a national reputation. In addition to leading a number of services during her internship, Jessica also served as the congregation’s Recovery Ministry team leader and Elder’s Group organizer, and she organized and led an ecumenical bus trip to January’s Women’s March on Washington.
Jessica is a second-career minister, having left almost a decade as an occupational therapist to enter Starr King School for the Ministry. While earning her Master of Divinity degree there (in May 2016), she was elected student body vice president her first year and president her second year. This was during a tumultuous leadership change, and she was known for promoting clear lines of communication between – and among – students and the school’s board. Also during her time in seminary, Jessica made a name for herself as a guest preacher, and she has since led worship from 20 pulpits across three UUA regions – a number of these assignments turned into repeat engagements. She also volunteered at both San Quentin prison and the Dublin women’s prison, teaching a course called “Houses of Healing,” with a curriculum that helped prisoners look at childhood wounds and how those injuries had influenced later life choices.
Among her hobbies, Jessica includes hiking, camping, improv comedy classes, attending live theater and opera, baking cookies, and gardening. She is accompanied in many of these activities by her canine companions Rufus and Olive.
The full schedule for the week is still being developed, so watch for updates. But we know for sure that Jessica will be collaborating with deer Sullivan on the June 4 Children & Youth Ministries closing service and leading the service June 11.
Following the June 11th service, along with the already scheduled Annual Meeting, there will be a congregational meeting to vote on calling Jessica Clay as our next settled minister.
For more information about Rev. Jessica Clay please go to her website: revjessicaclay.com