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Teaching Congregations Fiscal Year 2025

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Name of Site The First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
Address 1187 Franklin Street
San Francisco, CA 94109  
Phone 415-776-4580 
Fax n/a 
Website http://www.uusf.org 
Site E-mail Address info@uusf.org  
Size of Congregation 271 
Supervisor Name Rev. Vanessa Rush Southern 
Supervisor Phone 9087231342 
Supervisor E-mail VRSouthern@uusf.org 
Informational Contact Name Vanessa Southern 
Informational Contact Phone 908-723-1342 
Informational Contact E-mail HR@uusf.org 
Focus Parish 
Fulltime/Parttime Full Time 
Compensation $2850 (paid semi-mon 
Other Benefits Reflecting Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) guidelines, UUSF pays for the employee's medical insurance through our plan at Kaiser Permanente. If the employee wants to enroll in the congregation’s dental plan it can, but would pay their own premiums. If the employee has already qualified for the UUA retirement plan, the congregation will contribute 10% of salary (not housing) to the UUA retirement plan. Also, vacation, sick time and 8-10 company holidays annually as provided for under the UUSF Employee Handbook. There is an annual professional expenses allocation for this position. 
Number of Months 10 
Start Date/End Date 8/25/24 (flex)  6/25/25 
Site Description First UU Society of San Francisco is a mid-sized congregation in the center of San Francisco, with a large community center and attached Montessori School on the premises. We are located on "Cathedral Hill" near St. Mary’s Catholic Cathedral, Lutheran and Baptists churches, blocks from Japantown, the Tenderloin, and San Francisco's City Hall and Opera, Jazz and Symphony Halls. UUSF is a historic congregation that helped shape the city of San Francisco with the Rev. Thomas Starr King’s sarcophagus on our property. The church has a history of seeding new community ministries and maintains a relationship to them: the Faithful Fools, a ministry of accompaniment in the Tenderloin; Up on Top, an afterschool and summer program for children and youth in the Tenderloin and Western Addition neighborhoods; and most recently the SF Contemplarium, led by Affiliated Community Minister, the Rev. Seanan Fong and funded by a grant from the Hinckley Fund, an endowment and granting body administered by members of UUSF (Captain Hinckley’s endowment was the first bequest given to an organization in the state of California). We also participate in two local interfaith groups, The San Francisco Interfaith Council (Rev. Southern is serving her last year as chair of that body that includes 800 faith and faith-based houses of worship, universities and non-profits in the city) and Faith in Action Bay Area, a network of faith communities and activists working for social change and economic and social justice in the Bay Area. The church has a vibrant music program under Mark Sumner, our Choir Director, and Reiko Oda Lane, our organist, but also enjoys the benefit of having so many gifted professional musicians in the Bay Area. We have rotating arts in our Center and among the permanent art, a piece gifted to the congregation by the renowned, late sculptor Ruth Asawa. We have just raised money for an arts fund to allow us to bring in more visual and performing arts into our life together, and we have launched quarterly Extravaganza of Joy nights as our response to the pandemic disconnection. The first included a meal, live music and dance instruction, games, and folks spilling out into the Center’s meeting space and courtyard, reconnecting and having a good time. It’s a pattern we hope to repeat Having overseen three interns at UUSF, Reverend Vanessa Southern, the Senior Minister, is a supervisor who models excellence in congregational leadership and is a gifted preacher and worship leader. Rev. Shennum, Minister of Congregational Life, who joined UUSF September of 2023, brings similar gifts and a very strong background in RE. Both have demonstrated leadership in social justice, community building and fundraising. The church’s small but growing religious education program for children and youth, led by the Rev. Laura Shennum, is matched by a robust adult education program. The latter programming includes weekly speakers on issues, called The Forum, monthly book groups, small group ministry circles, a men’s breakfast, a poetry group, online morning meditation offerings, currently an 8-week Hebrew Bible class led by, former President of the UUA, the Rev. John Buehrens who is a member at UUSF (along with other retired ministers of great wisdom and who all participate in the congregation’s life). Our opportunities for learning also dovetail with our justice groups like those working for Women’s Rights or our Racial Equity Board Select Committee, White Allies group, and other opportunities for connection and service like our annual three-week rotation hosting unhoused neighbors as part of the San Francisco Interfaith Council’s Winter Shelter Program, among other opportunities and activities that happen regularly at or out of First UU Society.  
Job Description The intern is invited to explore all areas of church life, negotiating an agreement that, ideally, weighs both the areas where they wish for more support and experience in their formation, their general hopes for the internship, and their part of a staff team that serves the larger needs and mission of the congregation. Their work can include exposure and participation in lifespan religious education, fundraising, committee support, and leadership development work. Although we are a parish ministry intern, we have made space in previous intern agreements for them to spend part of their time with one of our community partners. Our expectation is that it will always include a regular presence in worship, pastoral care and some outreach work into the surrounding community (as this latter part, with the size and complexity of San Francisco, is a unique opportunity at UUSF). All staff are expected to be in the office on Wednesday, Sunday and one other day during the week, or as needed. Ministers are expected to take one weekend off a month, and a sabbath, plus one other day off each week, whenever possible. We hope the intern will participate in opportunities to connect with one of our local interfaith groups and also in local collegial gatherings and retreats.  
Site Accessibility Contact us for a full answer to this!  
Application Procedure To apply, please submit biographical information including education and professional background; a statement of your ministerial goals or hopes for your internship time; references; a sample sermon (in written or if possible video form); and academic transcripts. You can submit them to: HR@uusf.org  
Additional Notes The congregation generally finds housing for the intern with members or donated and that arrangement is our preference. If none is found, however, an amount pegged at market rate for a one-bedroom accommodations in the Bay Area would be made available.  
Application Deadline Rolling review 
Selection Date As early as 12/1/23