Ministry Transition Updates: Key Events and News at ERUUF

See below for key events taking place during the transition in ministry. We’ll update this page frequently – so stay tuned.




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  • August 1—Rev. Jacqueline returns with full staff team.
  • Summer 2022ERUUF Common Read - Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry. 
  • Sunday, June 5, 10:00 am—New Sunday Worship Start Time! Children join parents for the start of worship and then head off to their RE classes which will take place during the service!
  • Sunday, May 22—Rev. Cayer’s final worship service. 
  • Sunday, May 22, 12:30 pm—Congregation Annual Meeting. 
  • Saturday, May 21, 7:30 pm —Goodbye Celebration for Rev. Cayer. 
  • Sunday, May 15, 10:45 am—2500 Hours of Love worship service and celebration. Celebrate our year-long project of doing at least 2500 hours of racial equity, justice, and inclusion learning and work within our local communities. Amazing news: we’ve gone far beyond 2500 hours!
  • Monday, May 9, 10:45 am —Summer Transition Minister begins.
  • May 1 – Rev. Brett’s last day at ERUUF before she heads off for a 90-day summer sabbatical as recommended by the UUA’s Transition Office for new ministers who receive their call to ministry as an “inside candidate”. She’ll return on August 1.
  • Sunday, May 1, 10:45 am—New Member Sunday. Nearly 60 people joined ERUUF during the pandemic. Join us as we meet them live and in person during worship. We’ll also have a bridging ceremony for our high school youth. 
  • Sunday, April 24, 10:45 am—Earth and Climate Justice Sunday. Our annual service in celebration of Earth Day.
  • Sunday, April 17, 10:45 am—Easter Service and Flower Communion. Participate in this lovely tradition by bringing a flower to exchange during the service.



Ministry Transition Update – June 9, 2022: Our New Minister

Jim Minister PicI take a momentary pause from my time away in order to announce to you and welcome with great delight Rev. James Lewis -- or Rev. Jim as they prefer to be called, who joins our ministerial team as ERUUF's Minister of Lifespan Faith Development and Pastoral Care. As his title implies, Rev. Jim will hold the faith development (RE) portfolio for children, youth, and adults, and will also oversee pastoral care.

He had a very positive meeting with members of the Interim RE Ministry Team, along with Victoria Zula of the Adult Programs Team, who met with him last month -- and he also met some other members of our community during his visit. He will officially take on his new responsibilities beginning July 15th, though some of you might see him around ERUUF before then as they show up from time to time to handle personnel matters and to become familiar with our campus, programs, and community.

Rev. Jim Lewis (he/they) is a queer minister, chaplain, collaborator, educator, ponderer, musician, and lover of games of all sorts. “So much of my work is about encouraging nourishing and flourishing. We gather to enjoy and deepen our spirits in community. At all ages, that includes a broad spectrum of experience: listening, talking, contemplating, playing, adventuring, laughing, crying, protesting, loving, resting, and so much more. I look forward to collaborating with ERUUF in these ways and more as we engage together!”

 Many lifetimes ago (in 2003), Jim graduated with a BS in Education with a specialty in vocal music. (We have in fact been told by others that he has a wonderful voice and we look forward to hearing it!) From there, he served as an elementary school music teacher in Kansas City, MO for nine years. They served on many leadership teams in their time as a teacher, including developing curriculum plans and grading systems for music in the district. During this time, he also served as a large group facilitator for Youth Leadership Institute, a summer camp for teens which developed their understanding of systemic oppressions.

Not as many lifetimes ago (in 2011), they departed for Berkeley, CA to attend Starr King School for the Ministry. During that time, he also served as Director of Religious Education for the Unitarian Universalists of Petaluma in Petaluma, CA. After graduation from Starr King, they have been a health care chaplain both in hospitals and hospice and served as a part-time contract minister at Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church in Walnut Creek, CA with Rev. Leslie Takahashi.

In this life (2022!), they will be coming to ERUUF after spending time as a hospice chaplain for Kindred Hospice and contract minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Hillsborough. He spends his free time with his partner enjoying contemplation/ranting/reflection, eating delicious food whenever possible, trying to figure out how we can work together to make the most beautiful world possible, and enjoying board games and video games like Stardew Valley and Spiritfarer.

Everyone, I hope you will join me in extending to Rev. Jim a radically openhearted and helpful welcome to our community, ERUUF's ministerial team, and as our new lead for RE.

I look forward with great joy to the ministry we will all have an opportunity to create together in the years to come!


Rev. Jacqueline


Rev. Brett HeadshotMinistry Transition Update – April 22, 2022: Summer Break

This year, at the recommendation of the UUA Transitions Office I shall begin my summertime away at the beginning of May for a one-month sabbatical, in addition to my usual study leave and vacation in July and August. A three-month rest period is recommended for ministers like myself who received a new call to ministry from within the congregation at which they’ve been working.

While at first I was surprised by this idea, I now understand its necessity as the ministerial transition began on January 31st, the very next day after my call as ERUUF’s new Lead Minister. As timing would have it, ERUUF was just beginning important activities to plan for the coming year.

Since that time I’ve hired a new Music Director, presented a new staffing model for all of staff, worked on the pledge campaign, the budget for the coming year, interviewed people, wrote new job descriptions and contracts–and I could go on– as well as my usual responsibilities.

I’m happy to say I’ve not done this alone. With the help of our incredible staff and amazing lay leaders, all has progressed quite well and as planned. And phew – I really need a rest!

I begin my sabbatical and summer weeks away on May 2 and will return to ERUUF on August 1–though I’ll be here for Rev. Deborah’s celebration on May 21, and the Annual Meeting on May 22.

The Rev. Patty Hanneman will be ERUUF’s Transition Minister beginning May 9, in order to overlap Deb’s final weeks here. Rev. Patty will manage worship and work with our RE leaders this summer – I’ll share more about her and the work she’ll be doing in next week’s update. Stay tuned!

If you have any questions or general curiosities about any of this, feel free to contact me at or reach out to the Ministry Transition Communications Team:

Rev. Jacqueline


Ministry Transition Update - April 2022: A Good Good-Bye

53 dcayerAs has long been planned, Rev. Cayer's ministry at ERUUF is nearing its conclusion. She'll be part of services in April and will preach on the following Sundays in May: 
May 8    The Architecture of Time
May 15   Celebrating 2500 Hours of Love 
May 22   To Bless the Space Between Us   
Reverend Deb will also remain actively engaged in her other ministry at ERUUF through the Annual Meeting on May 22. After that, she'll work behind the scenes to move out of her office and hand over all completed projects by June 3.  
As part of bringing closure to this successful ministry, Deb will hold "Public Office Hours" at the following times and places. Anyone who would like to come by to visit with her to talk, share memories, and say goodbye is welcome to buy themselves a beverage and join her for casual conversation:  
Wednesday, May 4, 7:00 - 8:30 pm, Saledelia, University Drive, Durham 
Tuesday, May 10, 2:00 - 3:30 pm, Caribou Coffee, 1408 E. Franklin St, Chapel Hill 
Tuesday, May 10,  7:00 - 8:30 pm, Drop-in online for a goodbye visit with Rev. Cayer. Learn more and get the Zoom link here.
Wednesday, May 25, 10:00 - 11:30 am, Sandy Creek Park Pavilion, Durham    
And finally, there will be a "pandemic safer" celebration for all ages in our community on Saturday evening, May 21 at 7:30 pm. We'll begin with music by ERUUF members in the Sanctuary, then move to the Fellowship Hall and plaza for light refreshments and dancing.  All are welcome. For more information contact Pam DiLavore

Ministry Transition Update - April 8, 2022

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been getting new ministry teams and staff in place. 
Interim RE Ministry Team
A new Interim RE Ministry Team has met to begin envisioning the needs of RE as the current program year ends, summer programming begins, and preparations for fall get started. Members of the RE Ministry Team are:
Naa Norley Adom
Dave Chilton
Galen Jackson
Cathy Keilar
Celena Urquia
Arco Williams
You can read the RE Ministry Team’s Charge here: docxCharge_to_Interim_RE_Ministry_Team.docx
ERUUF Staffing Plan 2022 – 2023
I presented a new Staffing Plan for 2022-2023 to the Board of Trustees. The image below represents an overview of that plan with brief explanations of the roles following it, along with who will be serving in them:
Senior Staff Ministry Team
The Senior Staff Ministry Team will focus on the work of taking a strategic, big-picture and long-range overview of where ERUUF is now and where it’s headed:
Lead Minister – Rev. Jacqueline Brett: Reporting to the Board of Trustees, I serve as the Lead Minister of ERUUF and as overall Head of Staff. I will focus strategic visioning, worship, justice beyond our walls, pastoral care, and will lead the new REI Theory of Change Committee of the Board.
Executive Minister – Rev. Daniel Trollinger: Daniel is an ordained Interfaith minister who received his MDiv from Yale University. He will focus on ERUUF’s finances and operations, as well as participate in worship services, teaching, and pastoral care.
Minister of Lifespan Faith Development and Pastoral Care – TBD: Our new minister will focus on holding the vision and mission for RE programming for children, youth, and adults. They will also be responsible for the coordination of pastoral care and will participate in worship.
Senior Staff Team
Office Administrator – Shawn Trimble: focus on the day-to-day running of ERUUF’s office, grounds, facilities, and space rentals.
Music Director – Dr. Wendy Looker: focus on the mission and vision for all aspects of ERUUF’s Music Ministry. A primary function will be to participate in Sunday worship and directly lead the Beloved Community Chorus and Eno River Singers. 
Director of Membership Development – Alice Alexander: focus on creating a culture of radical welcome of our visitors, providing a clear pathway to membership, and offering opportunities for visitors and members to learn about and become engaged in the life of the congregation.
Consulting Minister of Pastoral Care – Rev. Stacy Grove: will prove a year of support to the Minister of Lifespan Faith Development and Pastoral Care as they learn ERUUF’s systems. This role will end in June 2023.
Programming and Administrative Support
Program Coordinator – Michele Sager: to assist Lead and Executive Ministers, provide support for adult programs, database management, and Sunday Tech Team.
Communications Coordinator – Jenny Jolly: job shifts to part-time with a focus on e-news, Sunday Tech Team, and other communications projects as needed.
Tech Consultant – Chris Egle: manages ERUUF’s technology and telecommunications needs.
Bookkeeper – Sheng Yang: manages ERUUF’s day-to-day bookkeeping needs.
Sunday Media Tech – TBD: part-time role to join the work of the Sunday worship Tech Team.
Facilities Assistants – David Scheidt and TBD: assist with ERUUF’s day-to-day facilities and grounds needs.
Pianist – Kate Lewis: pianist for worship, choir rehearsals, and special events.
RE Assistants – Melissa Smith and TBD: assist with the preparations needed for RE programming; a second assistant to be hired based on the needs of the program.
RE Interns – HS Youth who are paid to assist RE teachers with classes. 
And the transition continues!
Until next time,
Rev. Jacqueline

Ministry Transition Update - March 25, 2022

Is the world ever intensely immersed!

Spring has come with time moving forward (thankfully by act of Congress for the last time!), a horrific war is raging, and we in the United States are just about set to appoint the first Black woman associate justice of the Supreme Court. I’m with Senator Cory Booker, who said of this last news, “I’m not letting anybody… steal my joy.”

On a much lesser scale, we too, have all been intensely immersed at ERUUF as we reopen the campus for in-person worship and meetings. Planning, pivoting, shifting, and transitioning. Here’s the latest news:

ERUUF has a new Music Director!

On Saturday, March 19, ERUUFian vocalists and instrumentalists joined Dr. Wendy S. Looker for rehearsal time and conversations about music at ERUUF. Dr. Looker later happily accepted the invitation to become ERUUF’s new Music Director in what she considers “an exciting opportunity.” Wendy will begin her new position this summer; stay tuned for more details in the weeks ahead. Meanwhile, if you’re not yet familiar with her background, you can read about it here 

Ministry Transition Communication Team

To support the transition from Rev. Deborah Cayer’s ministry to that of my own, we’ve appointed a Ministry Transition Communication Team of lay leaders to serve in a communications capacity to support the ministers and Coordinating Team from March 2022 through my Installation ceremony in early winter 2023. In collaboration with the Board of Trustees, the Coordinating Team issued a pdfCharge to the Ministry Transition Communication Team, who have actively begun their work. Members of the team include:

Eric HodgesEric Hodges

Member of the Board’s Healthy Congregation Committee (HCC), longtime ERUUF parent active in RE, Adult OWL, as well as serving as a worship associate.







Lynne Howard VaughnLynne Howard-Vaughn

Member of the Justice Ministry Council, heading up communications, and co-leader of ERUUF’s Durham CAN Core Team.









LJonesLisa "Ellay" Jones

Member of the Nominating Committee of the Board, worship associate, member of the Multicultural Team, and also served on the Ministerial Search Committee. And, ERUUF’s latest seminarian at Meadville-Lombard Theological School.








Jean OBarrJean O’Barr

Currently a member of the Coordinating Team, previous member of the Board of Trustees, and has served ERUUF in countless capacities great and small.







Georgie SearlesGeorgie Searles

George and her husband Rick are the last of ERUUF’s founding members. It is a great honor to have her a part of this ministerial transition!






More to follow in the weeks to come.

Stay tuned!


Rev. Jacqueline