2854 Hunter Mill Road, Oakton,
VA 22124. Phone: 703-281-1767
Whats New > Ministerial Transition
From: Unity of Fairfax Senior Minister Search Team
To: Unity of Fairfax Spiritual Community
Dateline: Sunday, February 10, 2013
The Board of Trustees is very pleased to announce that our new senior minister is Rev. Russell Heiland, Jr. Rev. Russell will officially begin on April 1.
According to your evaluations of the candidates, recommendations by the Search Team, and our interviews with the candidates, Rev. Russell was the overwhelming favorite. We are truly in divine flow!
Rev. Russell finished his tenure with First Unity in St. Petersburg, Florida, at the beginning of this year after serving as associate pastor in this “corporate” church with more than 1,300 members. During his time with First Unity, he was able to gain new skills and ideas for ministry, programming, marketing, and fund raising, and it’s clear the experience he gained there will serve him well at Unity of Fairfax. Prior to First Unity, Rev. Russell was senior minister at Unity of Wilmington in North Carolina, which was a congregation he belonged to for almost 20 years. Many of you remarked how engaging and energetic they found Rev. Russell, and we believe his energy and enthusiasm will have a profound, positive effect.
Rev. Russell rose to the top after a 7-month process, during which the Search Team reviewed 30 applications, interviewed 10 candidates, obtained many, many references by phone, and then coordinated three weekends for our three final candidates.
The Board of Trustees carefully considered the community’s requirements and the strengths and skills of the candidates. We asked in-depth questions that elicited their long- and mid-range plans and visions for our ministry. We are grateful that we had such able candidates to choose from. Then we addressed the data carefully compiled by the Search Team, who tabulated all of your evaluations of each candidate, including your specific comments. When all of this data was put side-by-side, it was clear that the best possible choice for this congregation, at this time in our history was, and is, Rev. Russell Heiland.
The Board of Trustees has said many prayers of gratitude for this congregation and for this opportunity to serve you. Now, we say prayers of gratitude for the opportunity to welcome a new minister and to open together Unity of Fairfax’s next chapter.
We want to express gratitude to the Search Team for their tireless work in finding and bringing forward Rev. Russell and the other candidates. Thanks to Jacquie Smith (chair), Julie Fischer, Jackie Fuller, Donna Lee, Dave Richardson, Shirl Smith, and Catherine Sullivan for their spirit-centered work.
We’d also like to give a very warm, hearty thanks to Rev. Sandra Butler for serving as the temporary senior minister and shepherding the community through this transition. Without you, Rev. Sandy, this would have been a much different time. We are so very grateful for your loving support. Please stay tuned for details on celebrating Rev. Sandy, which will be coming soon.
And lastly, we’d like to thank you, the members of the congregation, for your engagement in this process. You asked tough questions, opened your hearts, engaged in prayer, and enlisted your positive energy into the process.
We are grateful for the rich history Unity of Fairfax holds, the present moment as we are joined with the perfect choice of a senior minister for our congregation, and we eagerly anticipate the future and the many blessings and possibilities that are right around the corner. God is so very good.
The Board of Trustees
Rick Belous, Stacey Guenther, Anita Hartley, Roger Heagy, Shirl Smith, Catherine Sullivan, and Ron Wagner
Dateline: Saturday, January 12, 2013
Rev Russell Heiland gave a workshop, "The Messy Truth about Christ Consciousness" at Unity of Fairfax as part of the evaluation process during our ministerial transition. To view an album of photos taken during and after the workshop, CLICK HERE>>
Last updated on February 21, 2013