2017 Ministerial Search Committee Candidates
Proposed 2017 MMUUS Search Committee
Eliza Bailey has been a member of May Memorial since 1994. During her 22+ years at MMUUS, Eliza has worked in various roles in the Religious Education program, served on the Nominating and Stewardship Committees, participated in the MMUUS Choir, and volunteered for various MMUUS fundraisers.
Eliza has a strong desire for a dynamic, growing, and thriving congregation at May Memorial. She believes her experience on interview committees and hiring teachers and administrators for the Lafayette School District make her an excellent fit for the 2017 Ministerial Search Committee.
Larissa Brenner joined May Memorial in 2012, and has attended May Memorial for 9 years. She currently serves as chair of the Religious Education Committee. During her 9 years at May Memorial, Larissa has volunteered on the Green & Social Justice and Music & Arts Committees. She also served for approximately seven years as an assistant and guide in May Memorial’s Religious Education program. Larissa was also a member of the MMUUS Choir, and hopes to rejoin again in the future.
Larissa believes May Memorial’s purpose is to provide a spiritual home for all who seek one, with love and acceptance, and without judgment. She believes in making the world a more fair and safe place for all. Larissa received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, which taught her such skills as conflict resolution, teamwork, and group decision-making. She also worked for three years in the NY State Legislature, which gave her experience in balancing the conflicting needs of various groups and working towards a compromise that worked for most. She feels the aforementioned skills make her a strong candidate for the 2017 Ministerial Search Committee. Larissa also has two children currently enrolled in the Religious Education program, which displays her love and commitment to the future of May Memorial.
Peter Colman has been a member of May Memorial since 1979, and has worn many hats. In Peter’s 43 years at May Memorial, he has served in such leadership positions as President, Building & Grounds Committee chair, and Religious Education Committee chair. Peter has also volunteered on the Finance, Nominating, Personnel, and Religious Education committees. As a lawyer, he has worked as a legal consultant to May Memorial.
Peter believes he would bring common sense, experience gained as a solo practice lawyer, knowledge of the broader community, and proven dedication to May Memorial and its future to the 2017 Ministerial Search Committee.
Josh Cronlund has been a member of May Memorial since 2009. Despite Josh and his wife Leah having three little ones, they’ve both been quite active at May. Josh has been a regular volunteer in May Memorial’s Religious Education program, serving on the R.E. Committee for four years. He has worked in R.E. as a guide (Pre-K, 2nd Grade, and the Coming of Age group). Josh is also member of the Mission/Vision Writing Team.
Josh believes that May Memorial should serve as a sanctuary for all people through loving, peaceful actions; to galvanize our congregants’ beliefs in equality and empathy, no matter their age; to protect the rights of those who cannot protect themselves in our community and beyond; and to promote environmental protection and its importance to our survival on this planet.
As previously mentioned, Josh is a father of three young ones in the R.E. program, which he holds in high esteem. Josh knows that the children of our congregation are our future and we need to nurture their curiosity and guide them to living out our 7 principles. He also believes that the congregation should have a greater and more visible involvement in the community in these trying social and political times. Josh’s background in wildlife biology and environmental science has given him a strong affinity for our 7th principle, and is proud to be a member of a congregation that values the interconnectedness of all things, while understanding the need for a realistic approach to reducing our impacts on the planet.
Stephanie Cross signed May Memorial’s member book in 2002. During 20 years at May Memorial, she has volunteered extensively in the R.E. program, served on the Arts on Genesee (current), Fine Arts Craft Show, Nominating, and Stewardship Committees. She has also been a participant of Wellspring and several Spiritual Enrichment Groups.
Stephanie believes May Memorial serves as a spiritual home for those who desire liberal religious worship and community. Working as a speech-language pathologist (a profession that demands excellent interpersonal and communication skills), Stephanie also believes that her dependability, positive attitude, and strong connection to community make her a strong candidate for the 2017 Ministerial Search Committee.
Don Milmore joined May Memorial in 2015. In just two short years, Don has become a member of the Arts on Genesee, Green & Social Justice, History, and Public Relations Committees. He generously donates his time at MMUUS making minor building repairs, assisting Brian in the office, volunteering for ushering and coffee duties, and more.
Having worked as a family physician, Don learned the importance of true patience as well as listening to others, and perhaps more importantly, listening to himself – as knowing one’s shortcoming is valuable wisdom. Don is also very committed to the community. He knows that the next settled minister of May Memorial won’t be the “perfect” minister and loved by all – such a person doesn’t exist. But a minister that is dedicated to May Memorial and respected by the congregation is not only possible, but should be strived for. Don is humbled to be among his follow nominees, and believes his skill set, temperament, and work ethic make him a strong candidate for the 2017 Ministerial Search Committee.
Rob Neimeier began attending May Memorial in 2001, and became a member in 2003. He has served on May Memorial’s Board of Trustees since 2009, and currently serves as Vice-President on the Board. Rob has also been a member of the Capital Plan, Religious Education, and Stewardship Committees. He also authored the Safe Congregation Policy.
Rob believes that a member of the Search Committee should be objective and considerate to serving the entire congregation; have historical context of May Memorial’s strengths, struggles, and desires; be able to work well in a team structure; listen intentionally and actively participate. Rob believes he brings the aforementioned qualities to the table, as well as the ability to listen, assess, and organize in order to facilitate collaboration and action.