At our church service on March 31st, we announced that our first-choice minister chose us. Now we can tell you more about why we chose him!
The Rev Ron Phares grew up in the southwest US. He became UU as an adult, and was ordained as a UU minister in 2012. Ministry, as Ron says “seems to be where my gifts overlap with the world’s needs, or at least where my needs and those of the world overlap some.”
Ron and his wife Katie, whom Ron describes as a powerful feminist, have twin seven-year-old girls: Minnie and Cora. Katie is also a committed UU – and very charming!
Ron has served the Mountain Vista UU Congregation in Tucson, AZ for eight years. Previously he served other UU churches as a contract minister and youth director. In earlier years he studied global management and worked in communications and publishing.
We chose Ron as our candidate for many reasons, among them his reassuring and confident presence. Ron is a deep thinker who speaks, listens and draws people out equally well. We think you’ll love his intellect, warmth… and humour!
Ron’s Sunday services are well crafted, varied, creative, and appeal to both the head and heart. He’s particularly sensitive to the power of music, as much as words, to move people. He loves to preach, and with humour and wisdom aspires to create services that “shape us, prepare us to feel connected, act compassionately and show up for justice.”
Ron has a strong grounding in UU tradition and history, and is committed to our principles and purposes. He loves our varied approach to theology. Ron believes deeply in the power and importance of beloved community, and is passionate about the intersection of one’s spiritual life with one’s ‘work’ in the world. Connection and interconnection are at the heart of Ron’s own theology and way of being.
Ron is an innovator and not afraid of change. He loves our mission and vision, and is fully on board with our intention to become a go-to-place for life-long learning and modern spirituality. He loves to read and learn about neuroscience, relationships, nature, oppression, organizational/church theory – you name it. He then shares what he learns with his congregation, both in services and classes.
Ron appreciates that we have such a capable and long-time staff, and a cadre of strong lay leaders and volunteers. He’s a collaborative leader who believes in the functionality of a hierarchy but prefers to operate in a way “where the hierarchy is not entirely necessary.” Our new governance model will fit well with Ron’s style.
Ron and his family are so excited about the move to Vancouver. They can’t believe that we have forests, ocean and mountains all within 15 minutes of the church. They look forward to seeing their girls through their school years here, and “to growing roots in soil that is new to us.”
So… exciting times indeed for Rev Ron Phares, his family, the search team, and our congregation! Mark your calendars now for Candidating Week – April 27 to May 5.
Of particular note are the services on April 28 and May 5, the Town Hall Q&A following the service on April 28, and the call vote after the service on May 5.