We are absolutely delighted to introduce Rev. Brian Ferguson, UUFRC’s candidate for settled minister.  A native of Scotland, Brian was raised in a mining community and became the first generation in his family to attend university, majoring in Applied Physics.  After graduating he worked in Scotland for three years before moving to California, where he enjoyed a successful career in technology as a digital design engineer and project manager.  Brian met his partner, Natalie Freeburg, in San Francisco where they both lived, and began attending the UU congregation in San Francisco, where Natalie served for a period as DRE.  Their daughter Isla was born in 2003 and is currently a junior in high school. 

Brian felt a call to ministry and left his tech job for Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley (2005-2009).  Brian and his family took a detour to Texas for his internship and his pastoral residency at a hospital in Austin, a settled ministry with our San Marcos UU congregation, and a five-year transitional ministry role at Wildflower congregation in Austin.   Brian and his family are now eager to return to the Bay Area.  Brian’s bad luck in missing the first round of search due to surgery turned out to be UUFRC’s very good luck in matching with him during the second round.

Through many reference checks with congregation members, fellow ministers and staff, a consistent portrait emerged that reinforced our perceptions of Brian as authentic, thoughtful, passionate about social justice, kind and loving.  He is a careful listener and an eloquent speaker, with a wry sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye, and great attention to planning the arc of worship.  He brings the experience of a long first career in technology, the wisdom of years of past experience as a minister, and fresh ideas from a creative mind.  When we asked references what would surprise us about Brian, we learned that he is “ridiculously tall” (6-and-a-half feet tall) and a great cook.

We know you are going to enjoy getting to know Brian better over the next couple of weeks.  Here are a few ways to do that prior to his “virtual visit” (May 30-June 14):

1)  Watch this short video where the Search Committee talks about our reasons for choosing Brian (and stay tuned for some additional videos this week)

2)  Read selections from Brian’s Ministerial Record here

3)  Check out his Facebook page here

And now, let’s talk about Candidating Week (actually, two weeks).  We want everyone to have a chance to meet our new minister.  We have over thirty Zoom meetings set up for Brian to meet with all of UUFRC’s committees and the board, as well as fun social events (all posted on the church website calendar).  For those who won’t meet Brian at a committee meeting, sign up for one of the virtual Coffee Chats (informal small group meetings).  

In addition to many meetings with UUFRC committees and groups, here are some other events you may want to join:

Sunday, May 31 – First sermon followed by Q&A

Friday, June 5 (6-8 pm) All-Fellowship Virtual Potluck Supper with Brian & Family

Monday, June 8 (7-8 pm) Coffee Chat #1

Tuesday, June 9 (11-12 pm) Coffee Chat #2

Tuesday, June 9 (5-6 pm) Coffee Chat #3

Friday, June 12 (4-5 pm) Children and Parents Virtual Pizza Party

Sunday, June 14, Second sermon followed by congregational vote

It is hard to think that no one will actually meet Brian face to face, or rather look up at this very tall man before he comes to us.  We’re confident that these virtual opportunities will be almost as good as meeting him in person. 

For all the committee meetings and parties, except for the Youth meeting, this is the zoom link that will be used. 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 770 316 6686 

Schedule for Candidating weeks

If you have any questions, concerns, comments, feedback, etc., please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us.

With love and joy from your delighted Ministerial Search Committee,

Bill Welch, Cal Sloan, DeeDee Stovel, Erika Pretell and Tracey Fecher