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UUA names new Stewardship and Development director

Mary Katherine Morn will succeed Terry Sweetser as chief fundraiser in August.
By Donald E. Skinner

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The Rev. Terry Sweetser, vice president for Stewardship and Development and special advisor to the president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, announced last month that he will step down in August. He has held his current position since 2004, but has been deeply engaged with fundraising for the UUA since 2000. Sweetser served as a parish minister for more than 30 years and has consulted with more than 350 congregations.

UUA President Peter Morales named the Rev. Mary Katherine Morn as Sweetser’s successor on April 3. Morn has been senior minister of the UU Congregation of Fairfax, at Oakton, Va., for the past nine years. Ordained in 1987, she has served congregations as consulting or interim minister in Texas, Alabama, and Washington, D.C., and has had settled ministries at Macon, Ga., Nashville, Tenn., and Oakton, Va.

For eight years Morn served on panels for the UU Funding Program. She has also held various positions within the UU Ministers Association, including vice president of the executive committee. She is currently president of the organization Senior Ministers of Large UU Congregations and is the co-chair of the UUA President’s Council.

Morn has taught courses at Vanderbilt Divinity School and Wesley Theological Seminary. Her husband, John Rakestraw, is director of faculty programs at Georgetown University’s Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship and teaches in the theology department.

Morales expressed gratitude for Sweetser’s service. “This position demands tremendous respect from clergy colleagues, a passion for the potential of our faith, and a relentless spirit of hope,” Morales said. “This person must connect Unitarian Universalist hearts to a compelling vision of possibility in order to fund our faith for the future. We have been served well in this regard, and it will continue.”

Morn told UU World, “Having admired the great work of Terry Sweetser for many years, I am thrilled and honored to be stepping into this position. In my 27 years as a parish minister serving our congregations, I have loved the challenging and gratifying work of helping individuals and congregations bring the best we have to offer to the world. I am so pleased to join a talented team of leaders working to do just this for our larger movement.”

Photographs (above): The Rev. Terry Sweetser (above, left) has served as vice president for Stewardship and Development and special advisor to the president since 2004; when he steps down in August, the Rev. Mary Katherine Morn will succeed him. See sidebar for links to related resources.

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