433 Fern Street
West Hartford, CT 06107

(860) 233-3669

 
 


Proud to be a Welcoming Congregation

  Rev. Jan K. Nielsen

Dear Members and Friends of the Universalist Church,

On Thursday, April 2, I accepted an invitation to become the candidate for the settled ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Little Rock, Arkansas, a great honor for me. I will be at the Little Rock church from April 26 through May 3 for candidating week, a time for the people of the congregation and me to get to know one another.  After my sermon on May 3, the congregation will vote whether to call me as their minister.  If the congregation votes to call me to serve with them, Roger and I plan to move to Arkansas sometime over the summer.  Many of you know that Roger and I grew up in Arkansas, a place we love and a place whose hills and waters and trees are home to our souls. 

I have been very happy serving here as your minister and over the years I’ve declined offers from other congregations to explore new directions for my ministry.  Ministers are always checking in with their sense of call and each time I asked where I should serve, the answer was clear: right here, alongside all of you.  Although I knew that there could come a time when Roger and I would return closer to our roots, I didn’t know when that might be.  After I learned last summer that the Little Rock church was looking for a minister, I began a time of deep discernment about the direction of my calling.   

When I let you all know in January that this would be my last year of ministry with you, I told you I wasn’t sure exactly where my calling might lead – for then I had no definite answers, only questions, as I was still in discernment about the direction of my call.  My discernment process, while inspiring and life-giving, has been, as I said in my January 18 sermon, excruciating.  I knew I loved all of you and our ministry together but still, I have been surprised by the depths of my pain, even in the midst of my joy, as my sense of call leads me to an exciting and innovative ministry in a place I have always loved.  As we learn in life, we can hold both joy and sorrow at the same time, and our pain over saying good-bye is a sign that we have shared something deep and powerful and real. 

During our time together, you have taught me the most important lesson of ministry: how to love a congregation.  As we prepare to say good-bye to one another, I know that no matter where life leads any of us, the love that we have given and the love that we have received remains a part of us, and goes with us wherever we may go.  I’ll have more to say in my May 17 farewell sermon but, for now, I want you all to know that I hold a deep and abiding love for you, the people of this congregation, and I am grateful for the privilege and honor of serving for these past thirteen years as your minister.     
       
With love and gratitude,   

Rev. Jan


 

 

 Our Affirmation

Love is the spirit of this church, and service its law.
This is our great covenant;
To dwell together in peace,
To seek the truth in love, and to help one another.

 

  Upcoming Services Print  

THE UNIVERSALIST CHURCH CELEBRATES 194 YEARS

Sunday Worship Service is at 10 AM

Sunday, April 19
Joy Christi Przestwar, preaching and leading worship with Rev. Jan K. Nielsen

Sunday, April 26
CHILDREN’S SUNDAY
 

Sunday, May 3
MUSIC SUNDAY
 
Sunday, May 10
MOTHER’S DAY
Women’s Group leading worship with Rev. Jan K. Nielsen
 
Sunday, May 17
CELEBRATION SUNDAY
Rev. Jan’s Farewell Sermon
Please join together at 11:15 in Fiske Hall to celebrate and honor
the ministry of Rev. Jan
High School Bridging Ceremony

Sunday, May 24
FLOWER COMMUNION
Intergenerational Service
 
Sunday, May 31




 
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David Arnott

"I come to be here with you because you bring out of me—my better self.  This helps me to face more bravely the challenges I need to get through the difficult days."

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