It is a privilege to preside over ministerial transition at All Souls Church as this is a unique time in our church history. In July, we bid farewell to our beloved Rev. Shayna Appel and in August, we excitedly welcome the Rev. Telos Whitfield into our midst.
On our website and in her letter to the congregation Telos shares a bit about herself and her ministerial journey. I invite each of you to begin your acquaintance with Telos by reading her brief bio under the tab “About Us” and the link “Our Minister and Staff” or just click here.
I won’t repeat those details here but what I do want to share are just a few of the comments from her references – people who know her well, from congregations she has served.
- Telos’ worship services are wonderful, she appreciates music, sings, plays the flute, brings in dance…. She brings a quiet, mindful, spaciousness to services… She draws on many sources and will explain things knowing that people come from diverse perspectives, some raised UU and many people from other backgrounds.
- Pastoral care is where Telos shines! Can’t imagine we would do better in this area of ministry… She is personal, has an easy warmth – people like her right away; she has an easy connecting way…. She has the ability to listen and lift spirits.
- Telos’ heart is in social action/on the ground… Community building is a lot of what she does…She recognizes the need for community within a congregation and for congregational communities to address larger concerns.
- Telos helped the congregations look outward… Telos is able to balance the big picture, details and follow through. She is very responsible and does what she says she will do. She is creative, able to step out and try new things… “UUs are like herding cats!” It takes patience and skill to balance listening and helping people to stay on track. Telos knows how to make that work.
- You feel like you are really special when you are with her. She brings out the shine in people, especially those who are having difficult times… Telos is heart centered, warm and FUN. People will enjoy being with her. She is a trust builder and has a strong sense of justice. She has a passion for serving people who are vulnerable – she brings this outward focus to her congregations. She uses worship to lead people into…social justice.
- Telos is caring, compassionate, and grounded in the spiritual quest herself…Any place would be lucky to have her. She has a good heart, is enthusiastic and able to pull people together. She gets people excited.
I am excited about Telos’ arrival. I believe we will have a bright future together. During the month of August she will meet with the Board, staff, Parish Council and various committees and will begin reaching out to members of the congregation in order to get to know us as a community and as individuals.
Please join me in welcoming Telos!
– Leslie Kinney, President