Greeting you all for the first time is such a pleasure. Let me introduce myself: I’m the Rev. Leah Ongiri (please, call me Leah or whatever makes you most comfortable) and I get to be your new half time family ministry coordinator this program year. I’ve known and respected Rev. Katie for years, and welcome this chance to get to work with her through the end of her ministry here.
Are your ears burning? Hope so, because she has been telling me beautiful things about Unitarian Universalism in Durango. I’ve been hearing that you are a dedicated bunch, connected to each other, and deeply caring about your congregation and community. Immediately after my first conversation with Rev. Katie about coming on staff, I went to your website and read that your mission is to love courageously, inspire spiritual growth, and work for justice. “Ah,” I thought, “my kind of people!” I can’t wait to help support your families and get to know each of you more personally as the months unfold.
I grew up Unitarian Universalist and Jewish in Portland, Oregon. I just moved back to Portland this summer with my family. My partner Amy is a professor, and our children are 12, 10, 9, and 8. I’ve been a UU minister for about 14 years, with my last and longest ministry being at the Fox Valley UU Fellowship in Appleton, Wisconsin. In fact, I’m still serving them part time until the end of November, at which time I will conclude my 10 years of service there. My favorite activities during off hours are cooking with my kids, rainy nature walks, and writing poetry. Probably the most important piece of information about me is that my tuxedo cat Luna Rose likes to prowl in the background of Zoom meetings.
Now it’s your turn! If you’d like, drop me a line at familyministry @ durangouu.org to introduce yourself and tell me something I should know about the Fellowship or greater Durango. Or be sure to say hi when we encounter each other at a virtual Fellowship event.