Monica is in her third year of full-time study for a Master’s of Divinity at Meadville Lombard Theological School. The MDiv is the standard graduate degree required for ministers. During the two years as half-time Intern Minister at UUCS, she will be taking low-residency courses through Meadville Lombard and traveling to Chicago a few times a year for “intensives” – the Meadville Lombard term for the practice of taking 35 hours of classroom time per course and putting them in a single week.
Currently she lives in Corvallis with her husband Jacob, an evolutionary biologist and population genomicist who is research faculty at Oregon State University, and their four-year-old daughter Anne. She will be commuting to Salem as often as she can while maintaining a balance with the needs of her family.
Monica says, “I understand my call, my sense of my suitedness to ministry, to be specifically to parish or congregational ministry. The congregation is a place where humans come together in their beautiful, flawed ways to offer each other grace and chances to grow (which often come masked as other, less appealing things) – this is true of every congregation I have known. Congregational life is essential to our discovery of those things that live between us: Truth, Love, and Justice. I describe myself as deeply in love with the parish, and congregational life and service, a love which has endured through years of high-level lay leadership, sometimes-contentious annual meetings, and unbearably glamorous details like holiday decorating each December. My love for Unitarian Universalists and our congregational life seems unlikely to ever fade. I am so pleased to be joining you in your congregational life for this time.
“In the simplest words, my life is oriented around living into this: my answer to the question, ‘What do I do with the love I have to give?’ is ‘Everything.’ “