Introducing UUAA’s New Acting Coordinator of the Membership Journey

Introducing UUAA’s New Acting Coordinator of the Membership Journey

A message from UUAA’s Acting Coordinator of the Membership Journey Hiring Team

As UUAA members and friends may recall, a hiring team was formed in August 2023 to support our senior minister in hiring an Acting Coordinator of the Membership Journey. UUAA then publicly launched our search process for this position in September 2023.

We received a high degree of interest in this vacancy. The hiring team fielded 37 inquiries about the position, of which 10 submitted applications. We received inquiries and applications from those who identify as Unitarian Universalist, as well as from those who do not; from individuals affiliated with UUAA, as well as from those who are not. Most of the 10 applicants were well qualified for the position, and their application materials were closely reviewed by the hiring team. The hiring team then narrowed its focus to our top three candidates, who were invited to in-depth, in-person interviews in Ann Arbor. In addition, each finalist was asked to prepare a “mock” UU 101 (new members class) lesson plan, to help the hiring team understand how the individual relates to Unitarian Universalism, and how they would help newcomers understand both our tradition, broadly, and UUAA, specifically.

After meeting with the top three candidates, checking references, and considering many critical factors – including: personality/temperament (how well the individual might work with our staff team and with our community); fit with Unitarian Universalism; skillfulness as a program manager and leader; experience in working with and coordinating volunteer teams; and, skillfulness as a communicator – the hiring team arrived at an enthusiastic and unanimous decision.

We are pleased to share that the Rev. Mandy Beal will be joining UUAA as our Acting Coordinator of the Membership Journey!

Rev. Mandy has just concluded serving as senior minister with the Birmingham Unitarian Church (BUC) of Michigan, where she held overall lead responsibility for all aspects of the congregation’s ministry, including its membership ministries. Deepening the sense of connection that members feel, one to another, in community is a major passion of Rev. Mandy’s, one that has characterized her earlier ministries with the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Worcester, MA, where she served as Co-Acting Director of Religious Education and Membership Coordinator, as well as her work with the First Parish in Lincoln, MA. To learn more about Rev. Mandy, her ministry, and the gifts that she will bring to UUAA, please visit .

Rev. Mandy will officially join our staff team on January 1, 2024. UUAA is quite fortunate to have someone with Rev. Mandy’s depth of experience and skillfulness joining our community. Recognizing that UUAA will need to navigate, in the weeks ahead, a period of time during which our membership journey portfolio remains unstaffed, as well as provide lay support as a brand-new staff member settles into the community in 2024, we take this opportunity to remind you that UUAA is in need of volunteers for our Sunday social hour, usher/greeters, and newcomer welcome ministries. Now is the time to volunteer, as we work toward welcoming a highly experienced staff leader into our community! Please email Administrator Deb Markum ( with expressions of interest in volunteering, even if you can only volunteer one-time or sporadically. You are needed, and you can help make this transition period flow more smoothly.

As Acting Coordinator, Rev. Mandy will hold the typical responsibilities of this portfolio, but will also be charged with assessing the portfolio, as it currently exists, and helping UUAA reorganize the work within that portfolio, as needed, to ensure longer-term sustainability. With respect to her employment status with UUAA, Rev. Mandy will remain eligible for permanent hire to UUAA’s staff team, pending a period of mutual discernment around fit and an intentional assessment process around how that fit is going. Both UUAA and Rev. Mandy will retain the ability to determine that her time in this role is only for the “acting” time period – and, if such is the case, our time together will be no less mutually meaningful and beneficial for both sides. However, as has also been the case in recent years, it is possible that both sides may determine during this “acting” time period that a synergistic long-term fit exists between us, and the “acting” component of this position’s title may be dropped. If UUAA or Rev. Mandy determine that UUAA should, in the future, enter a permanent hire search process, the earliest that such would occur is the spring of 2025.

For now, we hope you’ll join us in the joy and anticipation we feel at bringing a great staff leader on-board!

Welcome to UUAA, Rev. Mandy Beal!

With much joy and gratitude for the opportunity to serve our community,

UUAA’s Acting Coordinator of the Membership Journey Hiring Team

Toni Wander, John Kasab, Leigh Robertson, Deb Markum, and Manish Mishra-Marzetti