(440) 653-3476 krolenz@uuma.org

Testimonials & References

Rev. John T. Crestwell
UU Church of Annapolis

Rev. Kathleen Rolenz has become a trusted colleague.  She is an expert in what she does as an Interim.  If you are looking for someone who can come in after a long ministry, to get or keep things organized, she is the right leader for your organization.  Rev. Rolenz was able to clean up the dust in the forgotten corners of our ministry.  I have never met a more organized leader.

Rev. Rolenz came to UUCA after a 34-year ministry ended and worked with me through various changes in my status from Associate to co-executive minister.  Her previous experience in a co-ministry was vital in allowing me the space to grow.  I tell her often that she helped me awaken to my full capacity as an executive and spiritual leader.  I know that my ministry at UUCA will flourish, in part, because of her hard work with me and the congregation.  For that, I will be forever grateful.

We sometimes disagreed in our approach but because of her maturity and spiritual stamina, we were always able to talk through difficult situations.  UUCA is a very active anti-racist congregation and this creates moments of tension. Rev. Kathleen knew when to own her white fragility, when to apologize, and when to disengage or engage depending on the situation.  This is another asset.

What I will remember most is how she allowed the space for me to be seen as an executive leader.  My good ministry was often secondary and not taken as seriously as I would have liked.  She was skillful in putting me out front–with her–to strategically help members see me as a lead/senior minister.  Because of that, I believe my ministry will go from good to great in the years ahead.

Kathleen coached me from overseas during the tragic death of a member that was a national event, and even created the powerpoint presentation for the member’s memorial service.  Her expertise in that tragic moment and pastoral care to me will not be forgotten. Because of her wisdom, spiritual coaching, mentorship and toughness, Kathleen is my friend for life.

Here’s what you will get with Rev. Kathleen.  She is direct, honest, has high integrity, understands policy and family systems; she’s professional, calm, witty, funny, and self-aware.  She’s a good preacher, highly intelligent, and an asset to our Unitarian Universalist faith.

Will all of your time with her be smooth?  No.  But will your institution and your people be better after she leaves?  Yes.  To me, she is exactly what our UU faith needs as we transition into this new century.  I recommend her for whatever work she pursues in the future.

Rev. John T. Crestwell, Jr.

Minister, Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis

Ms. Heather Millar
Board President, UUCA
Member of the Interim Search Team
Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis
410-353-6489 (cell)

I have worked with Heather Millar since April 2019, when she became the President of the Board of Trustees.  We have built a trusting and collaborative relationship.  She has been a tireless worker for the church; and an important supporter of initiatives such as the 8th Principle, Policy Governance and By-Laws review and renovation.  She was also on the team who hired me as their interim.

It is with great pleasure that I write this testimonial to explain why I highly recommend, without reservations, Rev. Kathleen Rolenz for the position of interim minister. Rev. Kathleen began her service as our Interim Minister on January 1, 2018 when I was secretary of our Board of Trustees. In April of that year I became president of the Board. We have had a collaborative relationship with frequent communications in person, on the phone and electronically with texts and emails. She is quick to respond and provides excellent answers and advice when appropriate and full discussions when that is what is needed.

Rev. Kathleen has been especially helpful in educating us about policy governance and assisting us to properly implement this form of governance. The Board and I have been known to stray from our proper policy governance roles. Rev. Kathleen has been gentle but persuasive in helping us see what can and should be done while often accepting the ideas we are proposing. She tends to details and is both decisive and adaptable—great qualities for successful leadership in my experience.

I found Rev. Kathleen to grow while serving as our interim minister, especially regarding the 8th Principle. She has provided support and leadership while exposing vulnerabilities in this area. She led an all church book read of White Fragility enriched by her sermon followed with small group discussions.

Rev. Kathleen is a trained and experienced interim minister. She not only knows the interim tasks, she understands how to address them, sometimes directly and other times with a gentle push. I have benefited as has our church from her dedication, talents and leadership as our interim minister.

Heather Millar President, Board of Trustees
Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis

Mr. Ken Apfel
Transitions Team & Former President of the Board of Trustees
Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis
Ken and I worked together on the Board of Trustees during his tenure as President.  He also served as a member of my Transitions Team, offering wise guidance and counsel. 

From Mr. Apfel

Rev. Kathleen Rolenz has in all respects been the right person to help move our church to a higher place. I have had deep connections with Rev. Kathleen throughout her entire time at UUCA, first as the former President and now a member of her Transitions Team,  She and I negotiated her initial contract, and that told me early on what a decent and open and competent person she is to work with.  She spent time during her early tenure quickly coming to terms with the needs of our church. Time and again I have seen her deal directly with our challenges and make us a stronger community, whether it be our need to foster more direct communications, manage conflict, live our UU faith, develop future leaders and become a more welcoming and diverse community. 
Reverend Kathleen has a rare combination of skills as a UU minister. She is an excellent manager and administrator who identifies problems and works with the congregation to fix them. Her ministerial presence in both the pulpit and in all of her church interactions is truly exemplary. She has a wonderful capacity to listen and to sort out what is really going on in the church. She has grown with us these past two years, and she is now setting the stage for us to be fully prepared to bring on our new settled minister. What gifts she has given us! 
I am happy to discuss her highly successful ministry with anyone who wants to talk.    

Additional References 

Thornell Jones
Congregational Member, Search Team, Leader in Building Beloved Community
Thornell Jones is well known both in and outside of UUCA.  He is a community activist, deeply involved in both the church and Annapolis social justice issues.  He has been a founding member of UUCA’s anti-racist work, including his most recent involvement in Building Beloved Community (BBC).

Cell:  301-332-1864

The Reverend Dr. Hope Johnson
Congregational Life Consultant
Central East Region in Unitarian Universalist Association Congregational Life
(917) 304-3048

Hope and I have been colleagues for many years; but I reached out to her during my tenure at UU Church of Annapolis to process congregational life and ministry in a multicultural setting. She has been an invaluable source of wisdom and support.

The Reverend Megan Foley
Rev. Megan Foley :: she/her/hers
Regional Lead – Central East Region
Unitarian Universalist Association

Based in Washington, D.C.
(301) 535-2956

Mr. John Duffin
Transitions Team, Chair
1202 Southfield Drive; Menasha, WI 54952    Home phone: 920-841-2799    Japple51@gmail.com

Mr. Duffin was chair of the Transition team that interviewed, but was initially unable to find an interim minister for the 2015-2016 year. In June 2015, my co-minister, The Reverend Wayne Arnason and I agreed to be the Co-Senior transitional ministers, each working ½ time for the Fellowship and ½ time at our settled ministry at West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church. In December 2015, the offer was extended to me to serve as Senior solo minister at the Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship for the 2016-2017 Fellowship year. I completed the interim ministry by July 2017 as their new settled minister, the Reverend Christina Leone-Tracy joined the Fellowship.

Settled Ministry

Mr. Tim Smith
President, Board of Trustees
West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church
4453 Porter Road
North Olmsted, OH 44070

Mr. Smith was on the executive team during the last year of our ministry at West Shore, becoming President of the congregation in June 2015.

Personal Reference

Rev. Nan Hobart
Retired, Minister Emerita
First Unitarian Society of Denver

Rev. Hobart has known me since my days at Iliff School of Theology, when I was a seminary student and served as their church administrator, and who has been long-time mentor and friend in ministry, co-ministry and life.