January 24, 2021
Dear UOTR Spiritual Family,
I recently let the Board of Trustees know that I will not be requesting a contract renewal, and my time as your minister will end on May 1st, 2021. I struggled with this decision for months. It will not be easy to walk away from a heart-centered community that has supported me and my daughter during one of the most challenging times of our lives, and that has allowed me to fulfill both professional and personal dreams.
I am resigning for primarily two reasons:
- Like so many others in 2020, the adjustments we made due to the pandemic created the conditions for lots of soul-searching. What started as undefined discomfort evolved over months to a clear calling that I feel compelled to follow if I am to be the authentic manifestation of the Divine that I always invite others to be. I believe the pandemic was a disruption (not an interruption) in how we do life, and how we do church. Given how I have had to do ministry for almost the entire past year, and how much it has resonated with me, I am clear that the centuries old tradition of Sunday-morning-in-a-building is no longer mine to do. I also know that this community’s deep desire is to find a permanent physical space to meet and be church, and therefore I have to accept that I am not the best fit for who UOTR wants to be. In a couple months I will be partnering with another colleague to launch a fully online and social media based ministry experience. I truly feel called to this as much as I felt called to be your minister over six years ago.
- A few months ago I fell in love with one of my best friends. It’s a relationship unlike any I’ve ever been in. It’s also currently a Massachusetts-Maryland long-distance relationship. While the distance initially contributed to us building a healthy partnership, we know now that we want to be in the same location. Because of her personal and professional life circumstances, she does not have the option to relocate at this time. Soon there will no longer be a need or an option for either of us to work remotely, and because I will always make the choice to give life-long love a chance, I will be relocating.
To be clear: the Board has not asked for my resignation, nor have I felt pressured to resign by any current or past members of the community. Over the next few months I will continue to serve as I always have, and I will be available to connect with you one-on-one if you would like. I will also be working with the board to ensure the community is ready to begin the transition process to find your next spiritual leader.
I have loved my time serving as your minister. I have made connections with some of you that I know will last a lifetime. I love how you have loved me, and how you have challenged me over the years. I am a better minister and, more importantly, a better human because of you.
You will always be in my heart.
Rev Ogun Holder