Ordination of Pamela K. Philips

We, the TJMC-UU and the UU Community Church, are delighted to invite you to attend the Ordination of Pamela K. Philips into the Unitarian Universalist ministry on Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 2 pm in the TJMC sanctuary.  A reception will follow in the Social Hall.

Ordination is the act by which a person becomes a minister. In our faith tradition, only a congregation can ordain a minister. Although we are part of a national organization, our Unitarian Universalist heritage has always been a religious tradition that values democracy in its governance, and the congregation’s power to ordain is one part of this.  It is a ceremony with great meaning for both the church community and the new minister.

At our March 26th Congregational meeting, we voted to ordain Pam Philips. Likewise, the Board of Stewards of UUCC Glen Allen, where Pam completed her internship, also voted to co-ordain her.  Ministerial colleagues from Virginia and beyond will welcome her into fellowship with them. Our former minister, Rev. David Morris, will also participate in the service. The entire TJMC community is invited to share in this meaningful and happy occasion.

Ordination often takes place in a congregation with special meaning for a recent theological school graduate, like Pam, before being called to serve as minister elsewhere.  We are honored that Pam has chosen TJMC as that place.

Pam has been attending TJMC ever since moving to Charlottesville in 1988, signing the membership book in 1993. She’s participated in a wide variety of church activities throughout the years. She has served as a delegate for TJMC at several General Assemblies (the annual meeting of UUs), where she met her husband Rev. Jamie McReynolds, then a recent graduate of Starr King School for the Ministry (one of the two UU seminaries) and hospice chaplain.

A middle school teacher for twenty years, Pam took early retirement to pursue a call to ministry that she had been hearing for years. That call grew stronger with each new role she took on at TJMC—working with youth as a Challenge mentor and YRUU advisor, facilitating a covenant group, creating worship as a worship associate and weaver, and serving on the board as secretary and president. She is grateful for all those who encouraged and supported her, as she grew into each of these roles. This congregation loved her into ministry.  She attended Meadville Lombard Theological School (the other UU seminary). The non-residential program meant that she could stay in Charlottesville, traveling to Chicago for intensive classes and to two half-time internships at First UU Richmond and the UU Community Church of Glen Allen. She received her M.Div. last spring and met with the Ministerial Fellowship Committee last fall, which granted her preliminary fellowship, making her eligible for ordination.

On Sunday, May 7th, Pam was unanimously called to serve as the next settled minister at the UU Congregation in Blacksburg, which will take her away from Charlottesville — but she will carry memories of Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church with her wherever she goes.

For the reception following the Ordination, we will need volunteers to help set up, to serve food, and to clean up afterwards.  We also welcome donations of finger food (savory and sweet) on the afternoon of the Ordination. To volunteer or bring food to the celebratory reception, please email: [email protected] or go to this PerfectPotluck site.

The expenses for the Ordination include travel costs for the ministers participating in the ceremony, flowers, musicians, invitations, childcare, postage and the traditional gifts for Pam from the congregation. There is no line item in the TJMC budget to pay for an Ordination. Therefore, the Finance Committee has approved a request from the Ordination Committee to allow the collection of donations to cover these expenses. If you would like to make a small donation ($20 to $ 25 is suggested), please make your check payable to TJMC and note “ordination” on the memo line or you can use the paypal button below.  Small donations from many congregants would let Pam know that she is supported and appreciated by the congregation.

Please join us on June 3rd at 2 pm at TJMC for the Ordination of Pamela Philips.  Let’s celebrate this new stage in her life and in the Unitarian Universalist ministry with joyous community.

Childcare will be available.  Please rsvp by May 15th on childcare when you reply to the Paperless Post invitation, telling us how many children and their ages, so we can hire the appropriate number of child care staff.

Yours in faith, Sally Taylor, Chair, and Ordination Committee members,
Donna Baker, Jamie McReynolds, Bev Thierwechter and Amy Wisserkerke

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