In the early days of Sojourners (long before that name was adopted) members and friends took turns providing the music, scripture readings, prayers and activities for the children. This precedent lead to an ongoing tradition of active participation on the part of the congregation in the development and leadership of our common worship life. There are no strictly rhetorical questions from the pulpit at Sojourners because many members of the congregation are very comfortable answering them out loud (it’s encouraged!). So, “leadership” comes from all levels of the Sojourners community. But here are the more-or-less official ones:
Susan Minasian, Pastor
The Rev. Dr. Susan A. Minasian was called as Sojourners pastor January 15, 2017, joined the church March 5, 2017 and began as our pastor the following week. She came to us from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, where she was the College Chaplain for ten years. Previous to her time at Franklin & Marshall, Rev. Susan held several positions throughout Pennsylvania, including Pastor, Adjunct Professor and Campus Minister. Rev. Susan hails from Richmond, VA and attended college at Virginia Commonwealth University. She received both her M.Div. and D.Min. from Lancaster Theological Seminary. To continue her education, Rev. Susan completed Racial Justice Institutes and a training with Rev. Jeremiah Wright. She was the recipient of the Lancaster Women’s Alliance Jean Royer Kohr Award in 2008, the Lancaster YWCA Racial Justice Award in 2005, and the Virginia Commonwealth University Star Alumni Award in 1992. Some highlights from Rev. Susan’s pastoral career included planting a new church in Lancaster, which was the first Open and Affirming congregation in the Penn Central Conference, and developing mindfulness practices, interfaith cooperation and a weekly radio show called REV’d while at Franklin & Marshall.
You may reach Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org
David Clarke, Co-moderator
Dave moved to the area in 2012, after retiring from a career in financial consulting, mostly to the Federal government. With his wife Julie, he joined Sojourners early in 2013. Prior to moving here, Dave had been active in two other UCC churches, in Arlington VA and Norwell, MA. Since joining Sojourners, Dave has been active in the Stewardship and Finance Ministry, first as Treasurer (2014-2015), and then as Chair of the ministry (2016-2017). In both these roles, he was a member of Church Council. He continues to serve as church accountant, posting church activity to our accounting system and preparing the monthly financial statements. Dave has also been involved in our church choir, organized our workcrews for Habitat for Humanity, and chaired the Church Grounds Task Group. Dave and Julie live in Fluvanna County, at Lake Monticello.
Rorie Hutter, Co-moderator
Rorie and her husband, Stuart, began attending Sojourners in early 2007. During her time at Sojourners, Rorie has been most active in the Christian Education program, Membership and Parish Care ministry, and what was formerly our Open & Affirming Social Justice group. Rorie is originally from Greenbelt, MD and came to Charlottesville to attend college at UVA. After college, Rorie worked for 15 years at the Virginia Institute of Autism. Since 2015, she has served as the Executive Director at Innisfree Village. Rorie and Stuart live in Charlottesville with their children, Madeline and Jackson.
Kathy Doby, Director of Christian Education
Kathy has called Charlottesville home since 1998 and has over thirty years experience working with children and youth in educational and ministry settings, including owning and directing her own preschool. She began at Sojourners May 1, 2018
Millie Fife, Church administrator
Millie was born and raised in Charlottesville. She graduated from Piedmont Virginia Community College and the University of Virginia with a BA in English. Over the years, she has been a bartender, restaurant owner, and researcher for a special project at UVa. Raised an Episcopalian, she found her way to Sojourners in 2001, became a member in 2004, and has been on staff since early 2005. Millie feels blessed to be part of such a diverse and supportive faith community as both a church member and employee.