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Letters of Recommendation

Audette Fulbright Fulson Recommendation

  To: Ministerial Hiring Team
Date: January 24, 2017

Memo: Letter of Recommendation for the Reverend Audette Fulbright Fulson

Dear Colleagues:

The Reverend Audette Fulbright Fulson is a generalist who is poised for leadership within a large community. At the same time she has a prophetic voice that needs to be shared from a larger platform. She engages her commitment to justice in its many forms. I have primarily appreciated her ministry and work through social media.

Given to a depth of understanding of intersectionality, she well understands complexities of identity of race, privilege, gender, and so forth. She herself carefully holds many of them simultaneously.

Audette recognizes and respects the relational in all of her endeavors. She is gifted in helping to build community, communication, and capacity for meeting clear goals for the greater good.

Her current professional position as Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Cheyenne and Adjunct Professor of Congregational Polity and Mission-Based Ministry at Iliff School of Theology, speak to her strengths of communication, compassion, and professionalism. Her many ministries include commitments on several bards, community ministries, and so forth.

Her leadership includes service on the district and regional levels of the Unitarian Universalist Association: anti-racism, anti-oppression, and multicultural teams; Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association; Good Offices; mentorship to students and colleagues; as well as being a member of the executive team of the UUSC’s Ministerial Leadership Network.

Audette could well be an excellent addition to your ministerial leadership team. She brings creativity, energy, and passion to all of her ministries. I envision her nurturing and supporting Unitarian Universalist congregations as well as covenanting communities to become their best selves as they deepen their faith with greater justice and compassion.

I hope that you’ll contact me if you have any questions about this recommendation.

Masakhane, Janice

Dr. Janice Marie Johnson | Multicultural Ministries and Leadership Director
UUA Multicultural Growth and Witness
Phone (917) 406-2111 | jmjohnson@uua.org

"Masakhane" is a rich and resonant word from the Nguni family of languages of South Africa, of which Zulu and Xhosa are two. Loosely translated into English it means, "Let us build together."

Unitarian Universalist Church of Cheyenne
3005 Thomes Avenue
Cheyenne, Wyoming 82001
http://www.uucheyenne.org/

Sunday, January 1,2017

To Whomever May Be Searching for a Strong, Intelligent, Effective and Caring Minister:

It is our bittersweet and absolute pleasure to write this letter of recommendation for Reverend Audette Fulbright. We are the Board of UUCC. We have enjoyed Reverend Audette Fulbright as our minister for a fifth year.

From day one of her taking the reins of ministry for our congregation, we were very impressed by her first worship service and have been moved, deepened, and educated by her worship services since that first one. We as a group have observed many pastors, ministers, priests and rabbis over time and Rev. Audette conceives, writes, performs and delivers her messages in manner equaled by few. She is a star in the pulpit!

We have come to experience Rev. Audette as a truly valuable asset. In any meeting she typically honors our space and time together with a chalice lighting and a devotion or reading. Her intelligence, experience and commitment to covenant bring a welcomed contribution to our Board meetings. With her assistance we stay focused and attentive to our priorities.

Rev. Audette has firmly and lovingly guided us through processes and protocols, pointing out where our next steps ‘may’ take us. She has helped us to focus on the most pressing topics, and guided us through some stormy waters as we worked to maintain our safe community during conflict resolutions. Board retreats, cottage conversations, book groups and informal fun gatherings are easy and focused times with Rev. Audette. She brings a guiding intelligent meaning to everything she is a part of in our wider community, our congregation and our board.

As evidenced by her resume, Rev. Audette has also been a major resource and contributor to the greater Cheyenne community and the Wyoming/Colorado communities as well. Frequently she is asked to serve in a leadership position in local and regional activities, a testament to her competency and willingness to serve.

One of the most lasting, strengthening, and reassuring gifts that Rev. Audette has given to our congregation and board is an investment in ourselves. Thanks to her passion and commitment, she has fostered confidence that we are a healthy congregation confidently moving forward in a pilot search program for a new minister.

We wish good fortune to her and blessings to the community that is fortunate enough to have her choose them, as they choose her, as their new minister. In fellowship,

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Cheyenne Board of Directors

Lynne Weidel, President
Camellia El-Antably, Vice President
Birgitt Paul, Past President
Paul Howard, Treasurer
Natalie Vernon, Secretary
Garth Shanklin
Hailey Ellingham
Audri Mata

Love is the spirit of this church and service its cause. This is our covenant:
to dwell together in peace, to seek truth, and to help others.

To whom it may concern:

This letter serves as a recommendation and endorsement for the Reverend Audette Fulbright. I have known Rev. Fulbright for a decade and worked with her most closely when she was the settled minister in Roanoke, VA and I was the President of the Southeast District of the UUA. I can affirm her successful role as a parish minister, but know her more deeply as a result of her anti-racism, anti-oppression, multi-cultural (ARAOMC) work throughout the district during the period she served in the district.

The Board of Trustees of the Southeast District of the UUA charged several volunteers, both clergy and laity, to assess our decades-old ARAOMC work which was lagging at the time. Rev. Fulbright served on that task force with great distinction. Their charge was to make recommendations that would re-focus our staff and volunteer resources for better effect in our inclusion efforts. The task force made six recommendations, and the board accepted them all without reservation.

Three of the most noteworthy recommendations, which Rev. Fulbright shepherded, were to mount an initiative to change the name of the Thomas Jefferson District, establish a volunteer group to amplify the work of the staff, and for the district to host a People of Color (POC) gathering at historic Penn Center.

The name change initiative was the most challenging of the recommendations but was ultimately successful in achieving a 67-percent majority vote on the second try with personal support and lobbying by Rev. Fulbright.

The volunteer group, known as the Dream Team, focused on the intersectionality of identities. They led workshops in congregations throughout the district to train and support leaders in those congregations.

The POC gathering was the first one of its kind supported and funded by a district. It had the effect of welcoming people back into leadership in congregations and ultimately provided momentum for the name change.

As a result of these initiatives, which Rev. Fulbright drove with the help of others, the ARAOMC efforts in the Southeast District became a model for other districts and ultimately led to more congregations engaging with Mosaic Makers to work toward intentionally becoming inclusive and energizing racial reconciliation efforts in communities around the district.

The success of these programs in the district would not have been possible without the energy, passion, and commitment of the Rev. Audette Fulbright.

In faith and fellowship,

Jim Key

“Rev. Audette Fulbright recently facilitated a retreat for the leadership team of the Unitarian Universalist Community of Casper Wyoming. Our small congregation has experienced exciting changes in the last few years, and this was our first leadership retreat. Her experience and skill as a minister and a facilitator were apparent far in advance of the retreat: during the early planning stages she asked relevant questions, listened to us, was able to accurately evaluate where we are, and helped us create a clear purpose for the retreat. Rev. Audette’s facilitation of the retreat was well organized and professional, and also warm and comfortable. The retreat began with an activity for us to learn more about each other and better understand our congregation, followed by a True Colors personality styles assessment and discussion, and then a viewing of two leadership videos. Finally, Rev. Audette facilitated a discussion that led to the creation of our first leadership covenant. She effectively involved all participants, and listened actively to draw out the true meaning of what each person was trying to say. She offered advice on congregational best practices when appropriate, and she firmly but kindly kept us on track when we tended to stray. Best of all, she inspired us to deepen our commitment to Unitarian Universalism and to strengthen our resolve to work together within covenant to build our congregation’s future. We are tremendously grateful to Rev. Audette for all that we learned and all that we accomplished together.”
“I have known Audette for 10 years and served as her District Executive for six of those years. I’ve worked with Audette in a number of capacities: as minister of a congregation, on the District anti-racism team, and as a Good Officer. I know Audette as a caring minister who is committed to social justice and peace. She has excellent leadership skills, builds effective interpersonal relationships, and understands how to grow spiritual community in congregations. I highly recommend Audette for any role she has a passion for. It’s a pleasure to work with her.”
Smart as a whip, wise as a sage, tremendously respected by her colleagues, warm, pastoral, well-boundaried, grounded in Unitarian Universalist faith, committed to a future in which justice shines a brighter light for all, an engaging preacher, a poet whose words are known by ministers across our movement: Rev. Audette Fulbright is someone I would choose for my own minister. I’ve known her since my days in lay leadership, and she is without a doubt one of the forces that helped me hear and grow into my own call this work. She’s a luminous gift.
“Rev. Audette Fulbright Fulson was my minister at UUCR for 7 years, but she and I also worked together on many projects and committees. She is a powerful spiritual and church leader who balances work with family and community. She delivers passionate and educational sermons and her one-on-one spiritual guidance is motivating and thought-provoking. She is well-educated and her years of experience are reflected in her committment to tasks at hand.

Rev. Audette is a passionate, hard-working, dedicated professional. Not only did I learn a lot from her while we worked together; she set the standards for me while I searched for a new home church in a new state. I would recommend Rev. Audette Fulbright Fulson for any position where an intelligent, powerful, dynamic, growth-oriented person is needed.”

I'm not a member of her church or even live in her city. I’ve only heard her preach once. I’ve only shared one meal with her. I‘ve been part of only one meeting in which she was present. So… why do I feel like I can recommend Rev. Fulbright to a ministerial position?

The only time I heard her lead a service, she was a guest minister at my UU church. I was the liaison who needed to work with her on elements of the morning, sermon topic, etc. She was delightful to work with and her morning service made me wish I could attend services every Sunday at her home church just to hear her. She had just the right mix of content, humor, personal reflection, and inspiration. She connected with lots of our members that morning. Afterwards, at a lunch with her and her family I saw the comfortable ease at which she interacted with them and me, whom she had never met before.

I saw Audette again at meeting at my church about a year later in which she facilitated a meeting with leadership members of my congregation and our new minister over some issues which had become problematic, just 6 months after our new minister was installed. I was fearing what might be said, and how we could address some of these issues. Audette was respectful of all sides, listened most thoughtfully, reflected honestly on what she heard and was about as impartial as anyone could be while sharing suggestions that I think made both "sides” feel good by the end of the meeting. No one was chastised. No one was made to feel guilty. Everyone was given the opportunity to participate. Possibilities for change were shared.

The above occasions are perhaps not much to base an opinion on, but I also follow Audette on social medial and I am so impressed with her interest in and knowledge of things political, social and spiritual. Her Monday meditations are beautiful and I often share them with my congregation. She writes beautifully, a skill I admire. She has the ability to use words to inspire, comfort and sometimes make me rethink a position I have (as a minister should do, “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”). Her willingness to share personal thoughts and family affairs reaffirms our shared humanity, warts, worries, joys and sorrows. From what I know her Cheyenne church has grown by leaps and bounds. Her liberal religious presence is a breath of fresh air in conservative Wyoming. She was not afraid to ruffle more than a few feathers when she first came to Wyoming (a gun culture if there ever was one) and wrote a letter to the local paper opposing teachers being required to carry guns in their classrooms. I know she has participated in several peaceful protests at our state capital. She embodies what I think a UU minister should be. She reminds me of what I, as a UU lay person, should be.

Any UU church which hires her will be getting an authentic, sincere, intelligent and thoughtful leader who will I’m sure appeal to singles, families, young and old. She is a UU minister who I wish we could duplicate for small Fellowships like mine as well as larger more urban UU groups.

Linda Goldman
40 year member of Laramie Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Laramie, WY

2016

Please accept this letter on behalf of the Reverend Audette Fulbright who I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with for over five years. Soon after she moved to Cheyenne, Reverend Fulbright reached out to me while I was serving as both the minister to the Unitarian Universalist church of Casper, Wyoming and as the Staff Chaplain for the state penitentiary for women. Through the years, she and I have had many opportunities for collegiality and friendship.

Because of the long distances between six of the UU churches in Wyoming and Northern Colorado, Reverend Fulbright has faithfully hosted the monthly meetings of these ministers. Reverend Fulbright’s leadership in this endeavor has not only brought stability and consistency to the group, it has shaped this meeting into a time of high quality and worth. Personally, the professional expertise, insights, and creativity Reverend Fulbright has shared with me have been invaluable.

Wyoming is unique in that many of us who are theologically liberal are challenged by living and working in such a politically conservative state. I am proud to say, Reverend Fulbright is recognized around all of Wyoming as an articulate, passionate, and devoted public advocate for the values and principles which, not only inform Unitarian Universalism, are universal to the struggle for justice. Her public advocacy has contributed to the success of Wyoming’s marriage equality effort as well as the many local endeavors in which the Cheyenne UU church is involved.

Reverend Fulbright has made the 370-mile round-trip to Casper in order to conduct a very well- received Sunday service and, most recently, she facilitated our board’s leadership retreat. Not only does she bring an in-depth and up-to-date understanding of congregational polity and best practices, her facilitation skills are a natural and seamless extension of her ministerial gifts. Her professional expertise and love of Unitarian Universalism were two timely and essential gifts she brought to our church. On so many levels, Reverend Fulbright has made a significant and lasting contribution to the future success of the UU Community of Casper.

I am honored to recommend the Reverend Audette Fulbright for any professional position for which she may be considered. She is a vibrant, devoted, and gifted person whose contribution to any community of which she is a part will be significant and filled with value.

Sincerely,

The Reverend Leslie Kee
UU Community of Casper

References

Dr. Janice Marie Johnson
Multicultural Ministries and Leadership Director – Multicultural Growth and Witness
917-406-2111

Hailey Ellingham
Board Member, UU Church of Cheyenne, WY
307-630-5570

Garth Shanklin
Board Member, UU Church of Cheyenne, WY
307-267-2111

Jim Key
UUA Moderator
843-812-6647

The Rev. Jordinn Nelson Long
785-766-5164