Thanking Rev. Marjorie and Welcoming Our New Minister

By Jody Kotkin

Published May 26, 2022.

Next month, we will celebrate Rev. Marjorie on Celebration Sunday and thank her for her spiritual guidance, wisdom, and support over her nine years of ministry at FPS. We hope you will join us on Sunday, June 12, 2022, at 10 am in expressing our gratitude and best wishes for her future. 

We are excited to announce that we have hired Rev. Kathleen Hepler as our contract minister starting on August 1, 2022. She looks forward to meeting the congregation at the August 21 Summer Service. Rev. Hepler has also thoughtfully offered to be on call during the month of July in the event of the illness or death of a member of First Parish. 

Rev. Hepler was ordained in 1984 and served most recently as Interim Minister at First Parish Church United of Westford. Prior to that, she held the position of Senior Minister at First Parish of Framingham from 2007 to 2018. During her 38 years in ministry, she served in many states, including CA, PA, NJ, and MD. She began her career in social work, before making the move to ministry. She earned a B.S. in Social Work from Ohio State University and attended graduate school at Antioch University (Community Education) and Hamline University (Community Education).

When asked to distill her sermons into one line, Rev. Hepler responded, “Everyone has the light of love, and religious communities are about nurturing each other and the world.” On her application, she stated, “After 38 years as a UU minister, I have an ever-increasing commitment to the power of spiritual community.  Especially one that resides in the context of liberality, freedom, and the goal of understanding how to love one another within the resultant diversity of thought. At this stage of my life, I am interested in using all of the wisdom I have gleaned….It is exciting for me to consider being a companion to a congregation in transition, helping them assess and celebrate who they have been, and to consider whom they wish to become.”

Board Chair Sherri Cline was impressed with Rev. Hepler’s interest in our Partners for Sacred Places work, her awareness of the challenges churches face today—as well as her optimistic outlook. “She has energy and enthusiasm around working with youth. Her congregations have been impressed by her pastoral care and by her sermons which are thought-provoking and sprinkled with good humor.”

Please join us in warmly welcoming Rev. Hepler to First Parish on Sunday, August 21, at 10 am. We look forward to having her join our community!

Posted to General News, Homepage News.