At its July 2011 meeting, the Hopedale Board accepted the recommendation of the Ministerial Search Committee and voted to offer a half-time, student minister position to R. Bruce Beisner. He has since accepted the position and the contract negotiations have been completed.

Bruce Beisner is in his final year at the Meadville-Lombard Theological School and just completed his formal internship at the Heritage Unitarian Universalist Church in Cincinnati, where Rev. Bill Gupton served as his mentor. Bruce plans to go before the ministerial fellowshipping committee in Boston late this fall and then search for a settled ministry position that would start in the fall of 2012. He has served as a student chaplain at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati; was an active lay leader at St. John’s for 14 years, filling many roles in that congregation; and worked and volunteered at Northern Hills Fellowship. His undergraduate degree is in Graphic Design from the University of Cincinnati and he co-authored two biographies for Darkening the Doors: Black Trailblazers in Unitarian Universalism, edited by Rev. Mark Morrison-Reed.

This is a nine-month (mid-August through mid-May) half-time position, and we look forward to Bruce being with us for about 18 Sundays. He is not the Reverend Beisner; he will be ordained by St. John’s in the spring, but he can be referred to as our minister. This position will fulfill a praxis requirement at Meadville and there will be a Hopedale Committee on Ministry to support him. During his time with us this upcoming year he is looking forward to leading adult RE classes and learning more about the stewardship process by getting exposure to what we do.

Many thanks to the committee who handled the entire search process in record time: Jennifer Blue, John Eicher, Judi Hetrick, Elinor Loucks, Genevieve O’Malley Knight and Liz Woedl (ex-officio).

Don’t miss Bruce’s first Sunday with Hopedale, August 21st,

when he will speak on “Naming and Claiming Our Faith.”