In August, the Rev. Deborah Bennett joined First Parish in Wayland as our Interim Minister. Rev. Bennett comes to us from Emerson Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Marietta, Ga., where she served as Minister for the past four years. She and her husband Jim lived in Western Massachusetts for many years before being called to Emerson and are happy to be returning to Massachusetts to be closer to their children and first grandchild.

Following over a decade as Executive Chef and Director of Food Service at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Rev. Bennett’s career took a turn towards ministry. She received her Master of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry in 2018 and was ordained in 2019. She was a ministerial intern and summer minister in Winchester, Mass. and was then called to her first solo ministry job at Emerson. She served very successfully there for four years, working in shared ministry with her congregation to keep it vibrant and growing despite the many challenges of the Covid pandemic. She was described by one leader in her congregation as “a strong and popular leader…creative and generous of heart, and able to bring people along by listening to them and letting them come to consensus.”