Rev. Russ Menk has served as the senior minister at UUFSCC, a healthy, vibrant, and welcoming congregation of about 100 members, for the last eight years. Serving a small congregation has shown him the complexities of balancing administration and spirituality. Administratively, we have achieved a balanced budget, moved to year-round stewardship, exceeded our annual pledge goal several times, and have not shrunk in membership (extraordinary for a small church these days). Spiritually we have embraced Small Group Ministries (>50% members), gained an interfaith minister (Presbyterian) and a community minister (UU), significantly expanded pastoral care by laity, and thrived during the pandemic. Russ also serves on the board of the non-profit Advocacy Inc as co-president. Prior to seminary, he worked as a middle & upper manager in an aerospace company for 30 years.
Of the future of the church in the 21st century, Russ says, “The church may have walls or not. Though undefined, that church will need leaders trained to serve a diverse society (economic, racial, ethnic, religious beliefs, gender identity with the lifesaving messages of hope, compassion, and love.”
Russ has brought my own awareness/struggles with white privilege to his congregation. He is committed to dismantling white supremacy culture—as part of his ministry and as a counter effort to the hate that is coming from the shadows into the daylight.