A Guide to Rev. Kelly Crocker's Sabbatical, 2024

Rev. Kelly Crocker, Co-Senior Minister, will be on sabbatical from February 1, 2024 through August 1, 2024. Sabbaticals are an important element in cultivating healthy and vital long-term ministries. Sabbaticals benefit both ministers and congregations‚ÄĒ providing opportunities for new perspectives, and continued growth‚ÄĒ personal, spiritual, and institutional. The Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association guidelines call for ministers to accrue one month of sabbatical for each year of service, with sabbaticals being taken every five to seven years. This sabbatical was voted on by the Board of Trustees February 15, 2023.

The root of the word sabbatical means ‚Äėrest,‚Äô so one purpose of a sabbatical is to cease regular ministry and engage in the spiritual practices that will bring peace. A minister‚Äôs sabbatical is a time of working differently, with a changed focus and perspective, and with time for study, contemplation, and integration. It is an opportunity for renewal and for personal and professional growth.

Rev. Kelly C. has served FUS since July 2001. This sabbatical will take place during her 23rd year of ministry here. She has previously taken one sabbatical during 2010, for four months. After the past 13 years of ministry‚ÄĒincluding 5 years of ministerial transition and interim work‚ÄĒRev. Kelly C. plans to use her sabbatical time to begin a Spiritual Direction Program through Benet Hill Monastery, engage in a combination of reflection, renewal, intentional spiritual practice that her current schedule doesn‚Äôt allow, and spend time with her children and family.

What Happens at FUS While Kelly C. Is Away?

As always, Rev. Kelly AJ and the FUS staff, along with the Board of Trustees and all our committees and ministry teams who share responsibility for our ongoing programs and operations, will ensure that FUS remains a vibrant and busy place in Rev. Kelly C.’s absence. In addition, we have hired a part-time Sabbatical Minister to work alongside Rev. Kelly AJ. You can read more about Rev. Jim Foti below.  

Sabbaticals are an opportunity to move more deeply into our hope of shared ministry. One of the greatest ways for us to embrace this opportunity is to use Kelly’s absence to care well and often for each other, serving one another and this community. A minister’s sabbatical is a time to draw upon our strengths as a congregation, a time for personal and institutional growth, and an opportunity for renewal in commitment to the community. We can also reflect on the congregation’s relationship with our professional ministers and how we can best collaborate with them in years to come. This is a wonderful time to celebrate the shared ministry of our community and each member’s work and commitment to our shared congregational life.  

Will We Have Contact with Rev. Kelly C. During This Time?

Because the sabbatical is designed to be a complete break from ministerial responsibilities, Kelly C. will not be checking email or returning phone calls. Please do not contact her during this time.

If an emergency arises that requires her attention, contact Rev. Kelly AJ and he will be in contact with her if needed. 

Important Sabbatical Contacts

Meet Rev. Jim Foti

We are so excited that the Rev. Jim Foti will be joining us as our Assistant Sabbatical Minister. Rev. Jim is a freelance UU minister based in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and he will be with us approximately 10 hours per week. A Milwaukee native, he earned his B.A. in journalism and history from UW-Madison and his Master of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago. In November, he received the 2023 Skinner Sermon Award from the Unitarian Universalist Association for a sermon about social justice, and this coming June, he’s beginning a Doctor of Ministry program in Creative Writing and Public Theology at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. From 2014 to 2022, he served as an assistant minister at the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis and recently served as assistant sabbatical minister at FUS Milwaukee. Prior to seminary, Jim had a 20-year career as a newspaper journalist. Jim‚Äôs partner of 17 years, Ralph Wyman, is an active UU volunteer on the national level.

Contact Rev. Jim:
608-233-9774 ext. 114