This congregation called the Rev. Frank Clarkson to be its minister in April of 2008, and he began his ministry here the following August. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Frank was a freelance commercial photographer before he discerned a call to the ministry. He recieved his Master of Divinity degree from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge in 2004 and was ordained to the UU ministry in 2005. For three years he served as the assistant minister at the North Parish of North Andover. Frank has been married to Tracey for over twenty years and they are happy to be the parents of two teenagers, Will and Emma.
I love the church for its potential to change individual lives and, in the fullness of time, to transform the world. I came to Haverhill because I wanted to be in a place where I might help people to do this vital work. I’m particularly interested in worship, preaching, pastoral care, and in exploring ways to put our faith into action. I see the church as a rare thing in our society--a beloved community where we might transcend what divides us in order to heal and bless our world.
But too often congregations fail to live up to this promise. We forget that our strength comes from acknowledging that we’re all in this together, that we are better off together than as isolated individuals. In my ministry I hope to work collaboratively with church staff and lay leaders in order to build the church we dream of—a community that offers support and healing, that fosters maturity and accountability, that proclaims and works for liberation and justice.
As one who sensed a call to the ministry at midlife, I am glad and grateful to be the settled minister here at UUCH. There is a real congruence between who I am and what ministry asks of me, and I feel so blessed to have found my life’s calling. I know the challenge and liberation that comes from hearing and responding to this call. I believe we are all called, whatever our theological orientation--to be who we are, to serve in our own unique ways, to work together to increase love and justice in the world. My work and my desire is to help others to do this. Even with its faults and shortcomings, I still believe in the church as a place with the power to inspire and empower people, and to transform the world.
I bring to my ministry my years of work as a photographer, which taught me to look for what is not immediately obvious, to think on my feet, to work well and stay calm under pressure. I bring my experience as a fly fisherman and lover of the outdoors, which teaches me to pay attention, and reminds me that we most often find the holy outside the church’s walls. And I bring my experience as a husband and father, which continues to teach me how to balance work and play, the importance of self-care, and that commitment is a gift and a blessing.
Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with me if you would like to meet. I’m generally in the office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Friday is my sermon writing day and Monday is my day off. I hope to have the chance to connect with you, and I wish you blessings on your journey.
Rev. Frank Clarkson