Interim Pastor David Pattee and IUCC Moderator Renae Boyum announced today in an email to the congregation that our much loved Assistant Pastor Sarah Averette-Phillips will be the new pastor for Brea Congregational United Church of Christ in northern Orange County. Here is their announcement.
Yesterday, August 11, our associate pastor, the Rev. Sarah Averette-Phillips, was elected and called to serve as pastor of the Congregational United Church of Christ in Brea, California. Her last Sunday with IUCC will be September 1 when both worship services and the fellowship time in between will include celebration of Sarah’s ministry and a chance to wish her Godspeed.
Of course, there is a twinge of sadness in Sarah’s departure. Coming to IUCC as a youth minister while she was still a student at Chapman University, Sarah and this congregation have grown together for more than eight years, sharing good work, genuine affection and mutual respect. You have helped her develop as a pastor, she has helped to strengthen the church. One can’t help but feel some sorrow as she moves on. (And we know that Sarah feels the same.)
But “what’s lost is nothing to what’s found” in our journey of faith. Sarah advances in a calling to make fuller use of gifts and skills that were nurtured and empowered by IUCC, love and support that will always be a part of her work. The maturing of Sarah’s ministry is an affirmation of this church, a moment of fulfillment, and an occasion to rejoice. So, let us send her on her way with our blessing and our thanks. More detailed information about the celebration will be made available through the church newsletter and website.
Congregational leaders will be working quickly to organize short-term coverage of the associate pastor’s most crucial functions. And with all due speed, guided by the Hiring Practices policy approved by the Administration Board earlier this year, we will begin a review of this position and consideration of the church’s personnel needs.
Grace and peace,
The Rev. David Pattee, Interim senior pastor
Renae Boyum, Moderator