The Reverend Dr. Jan Carlsson-Bull
Unitarian Universalist Minister

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"Reverend Jan Carlsson-Bull exudes an incredibly vital spirit matched perfectly to a joie de vivre in its fullest, most receptive sense. She has had a tremendous impact on who we are and who we wish to become. She has been instrumental in two radical culture shifts underway in our congregation--the inauguration of shared ministry and an attitude of abundance throughout our congregational life. Wherever she goes will be blessed by her presence, as we have been in so many ways."

Dr. Mark Howenstein,
President, Board of Trustees
Unitarian Universalist Congregation
of the Catskills, Kingston, NY


“Jan Carlsson-Bull’s passion for social justice, talent for writing, attention to process, comfort with details and endless enthusiasm for all things Unitarian Universalist make her a perfect choice for leadership oppositions. The fact of her willingness to serve a second term on the Commission on Social Witness is a great gift to our movement. She has my vote.”

Denise Davidoff, Former Moderator, UUA
Statement of support for Jan’s campaign
for a second term on the
UUA Commission on Social Witness


“Jan and I served together for four years on the Commission on Social Witness (CSW). It was obvious that her commitment to social justice long preceded her membership on the CSW. She urged the CSW to keep social justice in mind in everything we did. As a minister, she also reported on her efforts and those of her congregation to advance social justice. When Jan became Chair of the CSW, she was very organized and readily assisted and encouraged Commissioners in their assignments. She stepped down from the Chair a year before her CSW term ended to help her successor understand the many tasks of the Chair. I am her successor. It was a pleasure to work with her.”

Dr. David May, Chair,
UUA Commission on Social Witness


“The retreats that Jan began at All Souls during her ministry stimulated me and many others to form new bonds and to undertake our work with a sense of social justice that had been previously missing. It’s all about connections.”

Carolyn Jackson, Lay Leader,
Unitarian Church of All Souls,
New York City


“Rev. Jan is clearly interested in young people, their thoughts and experiences. She plays to their strengths and gears her communication and expectations mindfully. My daughter loves Rev. Jan, as do the other young people, and most of our young people have become much more involved in congregational life and identity as UU's. She has served our congregation well in helping us build a future, both with our young people and adults.”

Dr. Donna Newsome,
Vice President, Board of Trustees,
and Worship Associate
Unitarian Universalist Congregation
of the Catskills, Kingston, NY


Professional Accomplishments

Detailed descriptions of Rev. Dr. Carlsson-Bull’s professional accomplishments are set forth in her
ministerial record.

Serving Congregations

Rev. Dr. Carlsson-Bull has served four congregations as:

Chalice Bullet  Lay leader at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Montclair, NJ (1978-1997)

Chalice Bullet  Assistant Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of All Souls, New York, NY
      (August 1997-July 2004)

Chalice Bullet  Minister at First Parish Unitarian Universalist, Cohasset, MA (August, 2004–June 2010)

Chalice Bullet  Interim Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills, Kingston, NY
      (August 2010-July 2012)

As a lay leader at the UU Congregation of Montclair, NJ, Jan served as Chair of the RE Committee, a member of the Board of Trustees, a charter member of the Undoing Racism Committee, and a congregational representative on the Metro/NY Committee on Anti-Racism and Multiculturalism. This congregation continues to be her home church.

As assistant minister at the Unitarian Church of All Souls, New York City, Jan is especially proud of having revitalized the Church Council and the Denominational Affairs Committee; initiated and supported multiple issue-specific task forces on social justice; initiated and led LifeScapes Retreats for spiritual discernment; supervised and mentored seminarians; provided abundant pastoral support; and served as a chaplain at Ground Zero and the Family Assistance Centers in the wake of the events of 9/11/01.

As minister at First Parish in Cohasset, Jan is especially proud of having advocated and supported the Welcoming Congregation process and this congregation’s vote to become a Welcoming Congregation; introducing and leading Circle Ministry (small group ministry) which grew to six active groups; introducing the practice of devoting 25% of the non-pledge Sunday morning offering to a UU or other non-profit agency; co-launching “Soul Work” as a cross-congregational series of workshops based on the anthology, Soul Work: anti-racist theologies in dialogue; and streamlining church communications.

Training Retreat As Interim Minister at the UU Congregation of the Catskills, Rev. Dr. Carlsson-Bull has led the Ministerial Transition Team in guiding the congregation through the phases of shared interim ministry, provided support as needed to the Ministerial Search Committee, introduced and reinforced the practice of shared ministry, launched a highly successful Worship Associates program, helped launch a Bed & Breakfast Program, introduced pulpit exchanges with other UU congregations, encouraged and reinforced streamlining of the by-laws and of Board of Trustees membership, provided strong support to a newly envisioned stewardship campaign, encouraged and modeled active participation in community and interfaith activities, and guided the congregation in deeper participation in our UUA at district and continental levels.

Serving the community

Community service has been a hallmark both of Rev. Dr. Carlsson-Bull’s professional ministries and the many years of lay leadership and professional positions that bridged the path from seminary to ordination.

Highlights of Jan’s community connections at All Souls include:

Chalice Bullet Steering Committee of East Side Congregations for Housing Justice

Chalice Bullet Support for inception of Task Force to End the Death Penalty

Chalice Bullet Support for All Souls AIDS Task Force

Chalice Bullet Inception of Journey Toward Wholeness/Anti-Racism Task Force

Chalice Bullet Metro/NY District Committee on Anti-Racism and Multiculturalism

Chalice Bullet Support for All Souls Gun Control Task Force

Chalice Bullet Chaplaincy during aftermath of the events of 9/11/01 (see Trauma Response below)

Specifics of Rev. Dr. Carlsson-Bull’s service to the community while at All Souls, New York City, and before then are set forth in her ministerial record.

While at First Parish in Cohasset, Rev. Dr. Carlsson-Bull:

Chalice Bullet Served on the Community Council for Cohasset C.A.R.E.S. (Caring and Responding Economically and Spiritually) Cohasset C.A.R.E.S. flyer

Chalice Bullet Participated every year in the Relay for Life on behalf of the American Cancer Society

Chalice Bullet Participated with other community clergy in events such as the 9/11 memorial, Memorial Day observances, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Breakfast Programs, ecumenical Thanksgiving services, and the Annual Village Fair.

Chalice Bullet Counseled high school students on community service projects

Gathering flowers for 9-11 anniversary During her two years at the UU Congregation of the Catskills in Kingston, NY, which extend through July 2012, she has:

Chalice Bullet Mobilized interfaith clergy and other religious leaders to plan and lead a Ceremony of Remembrance and Healing on the 10th Anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001

Chalice Bullet Led two month-long rounds of the “Classics in Religion” series at the Kingston Public Library

Chalice Bullet Been interviewed on NPR’s WAMC/Albany to promote the congregation’s post-Thanksgiving “Buy Nothing Day,” open to the community

Chalice Bullet Participated in the annual Community Interfaith Thanksgiving Services at Temple Emanuel

Social Action

Social action has been a hallmark of Jan’s ministry. Highlights include:

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Chalice Bullet Prepared Worship Materials For Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s Justice Sunday, 2010

Chalice Bullet Member, UUA Commission on Social Witness – Two terms/eight years, two as chair (2001-2009)

Chalice Bullet Introduced Peace Vigil on the Common, First Parish UU Cohasset (2006)

Chalice Bullet Member, UUA Moderator’s Commission on Social Witness Review Panel (2002-2004)

Chalice Bullet Introduced and supported the anti-racism work of the Journey to Wholeness Task Force, All Souls, New York City (1999-2004)

Chalice Bullet Supported the formation of the Task Force to End the Death Penalty, the Gun Control Task Force, an Interweave chapter, and the Peace Task Force – All Souls, New York City (1997-2004)

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Chalice Bullet Member, Steering Committee, East Side Congregations for Housing Justice, New York City (2002-2004)

Chalice Bullet Member, Metro/New York Anti-Racism and Diversity Committee (1995-2003)

Chalice Bullet Multiple sermons addressing faith-driven social justice

Religious Education

Lifespan religious education describes our congregations as teaching/learning communities. From toddlers to sages, we never stop learning and we never stop teaching. Religious education happens in classrooms, but it also happens in worship, in justice making, in stewardship campaigns, and in the endless forms of fun and fellowship that unfold in congregational life.

Rev. Dr. Carlsson-Bull’s experience with religious education emerges from her professional ministry, stems also from her years of lay leadership, and is grounded by her understanding of who we are and who we can be as Unitarian Universalists in addition to her earliest doctoral work in the development of imagination and creativity in young children. Specifically she has:

Chalice Bullet Supervised and supported Directors of Religious Education at All Souls, New York City, First Parish UU Cohasset, MA and the UU Congregation of the Catskills, Kingston, NY

Chalice Bullet Led adult education series on topics such as “The Theology of Reverence,” “Credo Workshop,” “Articulating Our UU Faith,” and “Soul Work: Cross-Congregational Conversations on Anti-Racism

Chalice Bullet Initiated, led, and written sessions for Small Group Ministry, known at First Parish UU Cohasset as Circle Ministry

Chalice Bullet Participated in developing a summer camp curriculum for middle-school youngsters on anti-racism

Chalice Bullet Served as an ex officio member of the Religious Education Committees at all three congregations she has served

Chalice Bullet Chaired the RE Committee as a lay leader at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Montclair, NJ

Trauma Response

In the days following the events of 9/11/01, Fev. Dr. Carlsson-Bull joined colleagues of all faiths for chaplaincy at both Ground Zero and the Family Assistance Centers established in New York City. In concert with other UU colleagues, she was a charter board member of the Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Ministry (UUTRM), which received the President’s Annual Award for Volunteer Service to the UUA at GA 2007. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, she spent a week under the sponsorship of the UU Trauma Response Ministry in Shreveport, LA. She and other UUTRM colleagues have responded to short-term crises as needed.

Rev. Dr. Carlsson-Bull’s trauma response training includes workshops provided by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF) in Basic and Advanced Group Crisis Intervention.

Collegial Leadership

Strong and respectful collegial relationships are integral to effective ministry. Rev. Dr. Carlsson-Bull has been an ongoing member of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA) and the Metro/New York District and Ballou Channing District chapters of the UUMA. In addition to regularly attending meetings, workshops, and retreats, she has held key leadership positions, including:

Chalice Bullet Co-coordinator of collegial preparation of comprehensive resources for the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001

Chalice Bullet Retreat Coordinator and member of the Executive Committee, Ballou Channing District UUMA
(2009 – 2010)

Chalice Bullet President, Metro/New York District UUMA (2003-2004)

Chalice Bullet Chair, Program Committee, Metro/New York District UUMA (2000-2003)

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