Ministerial Transition Updates

  • Meet Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kwong, Our Interim Minister (19 May 2024)
    19 May, 2024 The Board and the Interim Minister Search Committee are very pleased to announce that the Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kūpono Kwong (he/they) has accepted our offer to join FirstU as Lead Minister for the 2024-2025 year, starting August 6. Rev. Jonipher currently serves as the interim senior minister at the Fourth Universalist Society in New York City. Prior to this position, he served as the ministerial credentialing director and congregational life staff for the Pacific Western Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). They also serve as a program leader for the UU College of Social Justice. Dr. Kwong obtained his ...
  • Meet Reilly Yeo, Our Summer Minister (18 May 2024)
    Reilly Yeo will be our online summer minister from June 23 to August 25, 2024. While Reilly lives in Victoria with her two children and partner Jamie Biggar, FirstU is her home congregation and we were privileged to be her sponsor for ministerial candidacy with the UUA. Prior to entering seminary, Reilly was the director of communications and public engagement at the David Suzuki Foundation. She is also a co-founder of My Climate Plan. Reilly’s first service will be Sunday, July 7.
  • Letter from Rev Victoria, our new Senior Minister (29 August 2023)
    And, now, we get to meet each other! My role as your part-time Senior Minister for 2023–24 is to be a resource for worship, to support and supervise staff and programming, and to partner with your congregational leadership to facilitate changes and transitions. I’m looking forward to working with you!  And I have to admit, I’m a bit daunted by all that is happening, too!
  • Our Ministerial Team for 2023–2024 (1 July 2023)
    A message from the Interim Minister Search Team: We are excited to share our Ministerial Team and plan for the 2023–2024 interim year. As we shared previously, we did not find an official “interim minister,” but we feel proud and enthusiastic about the team approach to serving our congregation starting in late August. Each of the individuals below will fill a key role for us this year and help us prepare for the next phase of interim ministry before we begin the search for a settled minister. Introducing our Ministerial Team for 2023–2024 Rev. Victoria Ingram will serve as our part-time Transition Minister. ...
  • Farewell to Rev Shawn – June 11 (25 May 2023)
    On June 11, we bid goodbye to Rev Shawn Newton, who has served as minister to our congregation since 2007. Read the announcement of the transition. Read the Order of Service for the Farewell to Rev Shawn. Photos of the event will be posted to Rev Shawn has been called to minister to the Unitarian Congregation of Vancouver in the fall.
  • Two Ministerial Transitions (14 January 2023)
    Rev. Shawn Newton, our Senior Minister since 2007, announced on January 13, 2023 that his time as our minister will come to an end on June 11. At the same time, Rev. Lynn Harrison, our Minister of Spiritual Care, announced that she will be retiring from parish ministry in the fall. Read letters from Rev Shawn, Rev Lynn and our Board President, Tanya Cothran.