The Rev. Rachel Allen Baker began serving the Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta in August 2020 as the Interim Minister. Interim Ministry is a transitional ministry which supports a congregation through the transition from the most recent past minister through the welcome of the next minster.
Previous to her arrival in Oneonta, Rev. Rachel served as Developmental Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Las Vegas, Nevada. Developmental Ministry is another transitional ministry focusing on specific goals identified by the congregation’s leadership.
Rev. Rachel was ordained in March 2015 and received full fellowship for the Unitarian Universalist Association in February 2019. Rev. Rachel was a chaplain in both St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts and New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. She was the Director of Congregational Life at the First Parish of Concord, Massachusetts. Before entering the ministry, Rev. Baker served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guinea, West Africa.
To learn more about Rev. Rachel, please visit her website.
When to Call a Minister
The relationship you have with your minister can be, and should be, supportive, affirming, and empowering. Your minister should feel approachable and accessible. However, sometimes you might not know when to reach out. Here are some ideas developed several years ago by the Rev. Peter Lee Scott, and adapted by many over the years:
Call the Minister When:
You don’t know me, but would like to.
You are upset with me, or would like to express appreciation.
You have religious or spiritual questions.
You are seeking to deepen your spiritual practices.
You have problems with your job, children, marriage, parents, school, or anything else where a sympathetic ear might help you sort through the issues.
You are going to the hospital, having surgery, find out you have a serious illness or condition, or know of someone else in the congregation who has any of these experiences.
Someone close to you has died or is critically ill or you’re dealing with a significant loss or transition of some kind.
You are planning to be married, separated, or divorced.
You would like your child dedicated in a special blessing ceremony.
You are pregnant and glad you are, or wish you weren’t
You want to be pregnant but aren’t, or you are considering adoption.
You feel ready to join the congregation, or have questions about membership.
You want to explore new ways to engage in congregational life.
You have concerns or suggestions related to congregational life.
You want to make a large donation to the church.
What Is the Minister’s Role?
“A minister is not like a bus or a car, carrying us to our destination, but rather like a sign, or perhaps holding up a signpost, which she moves, running after, running past us, as we think we are on the path, asking us if we are still on the path. The minister’s role in a healthy congregation is clarifying values, holding up vision, asking, what is your talk? What is your walk? What are you serving?” –The Reverend Frank Carpenter