Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington, Indiana Seeking the Spirit | Building Community | Changing the World
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Meet Our Next Lead Minister!

On April 28, 2024, our congregation called the Reverend Susan Frederick-Gray (in a unanimous vote!) to be our next settled Lead Minister.

Reverend Susan’s name may be familiar to you, as it was to us, as the recent President of our national Unitarian Universalist Association. As we got to know Reverend Susan, we were delighted to learn of her history and excellence as a parish minister, her strong history of social justice leadership, and her human warmth and ability to connect.

As a committee, we reflected deeply on the needs and desires of our congregation, and on the particular gifts of the many fine ministers who applied. Our choice of Reverend Susan was unanimous and enthusiastic, and we are thrilled that UUCB ratified that choice wholeheartedly.

We hope you got to know Reverend Susan during Candidating Week, but if you didn't, here's a short biography and the video she shared with us prior to visiting before the call.

To hear why Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray is excited to join UUCB, please watch this short video she shared with us:

Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray

Photo Of The Candidate

"I am absolutely thrilled to be your candidate! Throughout the search process, UUCB shone brightly! Your history of supporting strong and successful ministries, your passion for justice within and beyond your community, your deep care for each other and for the children of your community, and your deep commitment and love for UUCB were all evident throughout the process.”
Read Susan's full letter here

Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist who grew up outside of St. Louis, Missouri. It was at Eliot Chapel Unitarian in Kirkwood, MO where she first experienced the life-saving, life-affirming power of UU religious community. Years later, while she was studying Molecular Biology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, that early experience grew into a call to ministry.

After graduation and a brief time working in the field of genetic sequencing, Susan began seminary, graduating with a Master of Divinity degree in 2001 from Harvard Divinity School. During seminary, she served as a Student Minister in Religious Education at the Winchester Unitarian Society. Following seminary, she completed her intern ministry at the First UU Church of Nashville, and stayed on to serve as their sabbatical minister. It was in Nashville that Susan met her husband, Brian, who was preparing for ministry at Vanderbilt Divinity School.

In 2003, Susan accepted the call to be the minister at the First UU Church of Youngstown, OH. During her five years of ministry with UUYO, the congregation became a Welcoming Congregation, clarified its mission, led a capital campaign and building project to add ramps, an elevator, and an accessible restroom. The congregation also grew in numbers and impact and Susan became more deeply engaged in community organizing, helping to lead a statewide organizing table focused on regional equity between urban centers and suburbs.

In 2008, Susan was called to serve the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix as their Lead Minister. During the course of her ministry, the congregation grew in numbers, organizational strength, clarity and impact in the wider community. Her ministry included working with the congregation to articulate a clear mission, vision and strategic goals, helping to lead multiple capital campaigns to address their aging building, and most notably to create strong partnerships with the migrant rights community organizing for justice. This led to the creation of the Arizona Immigration Ministry and the hosting of the UUA’s 2012 Justice General Assembly in Phoenix. During her ministry, Susan became a national voice within UUism for immigrant rights and played a critical role in the long-term campaign to end the constitutional violations of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

In June 2017, Rev. Susan was elected the ninth president of the Unitarian Universalist Association. She was the first woman elected to this position. Her presidency may be best remembered both for the leadership she and the UUA provided to congregations during the COVID-19 pandemic and for launching an enormous pro-democracy effort called UU the Vote, which resulted in Unitarian Universalists contacting over 3 million potential voters for the 2020 elections, and which has continued to reach millions of voters in succeeding elections.

Susan believes in the importance of UU religious community to our lives and the wider world — and knows the difference our congregations make for children, adults, families and elders. The core (and connected) work of nurturing vibrant religious community and courageous organizing for justice have been foundations throughout her various ministries. Susan is also grounded in a deep pastoral ministry; knowing that our power as individuals and communities grows from a deep place of care and compassion. Susan is married to the Rev. Brian Frederick-Gray, a minister with dual fellowship with the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). They have one son, Henry, who will be starting college in the Fall of 2024. Together, they share a love of family and friends, and enjoy traveling, cooking, movies, enjoying a great meal and a great beer, and walks with their dog, Hercules.

You can discover more information about Rev. Susan or access some of her sermons and writings at https://susanfrederickgray.com.