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ASHBY — First Parish Church, Unitarian Universalist, has hired the Rev. Colin Bossen as the congregation’s new minister.

Bossen will lead his first service on Sept.17. He will also participate in the ecumenical camp meeting that will be held in the afternoon of Sept. 24 to celebrate the congregation and Ashby’s 250th anniversary. He follows the Rev. Bruce Taylor, who departed this summer to serve as the minister of the First Church Leominister, Unitarian Universalist.

An award-winning preacher, scholar, and social justice organizer, Bossen is currently a PhD candidate in Harvard University’s American Studies program. He is writing a dissertation on the religious dimensions of populism and is the author or co-author of two religious education curricula and close to three dozen published journal articles, book chapters, essays, and poems.

Dan McKanan, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Unitarian Universalist Association Senior Lecturer in Divinity at Harvard Divinity School, has called him “an exemplary scholarly minister, and one of the most influential emerging leaders in Unitarian Universalism.” The President of the Unitarian Universalist Association, Susan Frederick-Gray, has described him as someone who “truly understands… the calling of our faith for these times and for our world and has the skills to walk with others in unlocking that calling.”

“First Parish Church is very happy to have Rev. Bossen serve as our minister. We’re looking forward to the coming year and to sharing his services with the community," said Martha Snow Morgan, chair of the Parish Committee.

Previously, Bossen was the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Cleveland for five years. During his tenure, the congregation was active in a number of social justice and community efforts including hosting refugee families from Burma, starting a community garden, and playing a founding role in the interfaith coalition Greater Cleveland Congregations.

“I am delighted to be beginning my time with the warm and committed people of First Parish. The congregation has long played a vital role in Ashby. I look forward to working with them to continue to create dynamic, soul nourishing, worship and expanding First Parish Church’s presence in the community. Like other Unitarian Universalist congregations, the congregation has an important part to play in building the beloved community that Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of,” Bossen said.

For more information please contact Rev. Colin Bossen at 857-615-4142 or minister@ashbyuu.org.