New Minister


On behalf of the Ministerial Search Committee and the Board of Trustees, I’m pleased to introduce you to the Reverend Tom Bozeman who will join us on August 1, 2022 as our full-time contract minister.

Tom is finishing up his fifth year serving as the Minister at the Evergreen UU Fellowship in Marysville, WA. Prior to this position, he served as an Interim Minister at the UU Society of Grafton and Upton in Grafton, MA and a Developmental Minister at First Parish in Brewster, MA. He served a dual ministerial internship during the years of 2012 to 2015 with the First Congregational Parish of Kingston and the First Parish Church in Duxbury, both in MA. He attended seminary at Starr King School for the Ministry (Unitarian Universalist) and while there served as a Hilda Mason Teaching Fellow. He brings to his ministry experience in social activism as well as a lifetime habit of deep study.

There will be plenty of time for you to learn more about his academic and professional background straight from him. For now, I would like to tell you why the Search Committee feels confident that he is the right choice for our church right now.

From our first meeting with Pastor Tom, we were unanimously impressed with his presence, his wide and deep theological reach, his thoughtfulness, his commitment to social justice, and his commitment to leading congregations into the work they are called to do.

What we learned from talking with his references is that Pastor Tom is someone who can be counted upon to not only do the work required at any given moment, but to listen to and for what that work is. We learned that he is a deep thinker and that he is also very funny. The thing that sealed the deal for me, personally, was hearing the Board President from his current congregation say that through the example of his being, he changed the congregational culture for the better. She called out his skill at listening and how that, in particular, created a congregation of listeners.

What Pastor Tom learned about us was our commitment to engage in social justice with regard to race and LGBQT+ issues. He found our work with the Beloved Conversations curriculum a particular draw, as well as the way we, the members of the search committee, talked about our involvement in it. He is looking forward to a shared ministry with us as we all deepen our engagement with what it could mean to be a faith community in this moment in time.

I cannot wait for you all to meet Pastor Tom, but more importantly, I cannot wait for us all to embark on this next chapter of our congregation together. In the time between now and August 1, Pastor Tom is making himself available to leadership of the congregation for specific work we are currently in the midst of (such as drafting /updating the policies and procedures) and may be visiting the community in May to begin his search for his new home.

While you wait to meet him, you can view videos of worship services by him here and here.

If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to me or any other members of the search committee, or Sandi Watters or Carl Wolf from the Board who worked closely with him to finalize the contract. But also, please be sure to share your joy at this news with friends and family who may have drifted from First Unitarian Church of Hobart during Covid and during our time of being without ministerial leadership.


Tina Porter for the Search Committee

Carla Banks

Stephanie Dowell

Tracy Ferrell

Pete O’Day

Who Is The Ministerial Search Committee?

Tina Porter

Chair of Search, has been a member of the First Unitarian Church of Hobart since 1998. She and her husband Brian raised their three daughters in the church, and were both active in church leadership throughout their time here in a variety of ways. Tina currently serves on the Worship Ministry and chairs the Ministerial Search Team. Tina was a staff member at Meadville Lombard Theological School from 2004 to 2014, holding roles in the Communications and the Student Services departments. She is currently a writer and purveyor of vintage goods.

Carla Banks

came to First Unitarian about twenty years ago. She has met wonderful people, made many close friends, and has had enriching experiences here. She is currently retired after teaching for over thirty years and loves being able to spend time with her daughter and grandson. She also enjoys traveling with her sister.

She has served the church on the Board of Trustees and continues to serve on the Caring Committee.

Stephanie Dowell

joined the Hobart congregation with her husband, Carl, and their two children about 10 years ago. She participated with the Children’s RE committee for several years, has been a frequent FIA member and served on the Board as secretary for three years.

In her professional life, she is loving a second career as a licensed social worker helping military Veterans experiencing homelessness achieve stable housing. Her work is a perfect embodiment of her favorite UU Principle, the inherent worth and dignity of all.

Tracy Ferrell

currently serves the church as the Chair for the Building and Grounds committee. "I have had the pleasure and responsibility to lead our church from a board of trustees position from 2016 through 2021." Tracy joined the Search Committee after leaving his responsibilities as Chair of the Board of Trustees. He is also involved in and enjoys the environmental aspect of our Faith in Action committee.

"My religious upbringing was influenced by Baptist preaching uncles and my father who was 75% Native American. While my mom insisted on not having me baptized, she made it clear that it should be my choice. My uncles often tried to save me in secret."

Tracy and his wife, Michele, have been married for 18 years and they have two children who are "mostly wonderful (they ARE teenagers)" he adds. Tracy also has another child who is 26 years old, from a previous marriage.

Tracy retired from construction in 2015 and spends his time now helping others as much as he can.

Pete O’Day

age 63, joined the church in 2012, after being an intermittent church visitor for 9 years. Pete presently is on the worship committee and the ministerial search committee, and was previously on the finance committee and the board. Pete is active in the Tuesday night Buddhist Sangha held at the church, and the related Thursday night meditation sangha inside Indiana state prison. Pete also frequents the church’s Sunday 10AM Sprit Circle meeting with his wife, Cindy.

Pete began his life’s faith journey as a humanist, reared in a strictly atheistic household, but he now believes deeply in the value of, and the honor in, the practices of the wisdom traditions of all faiths. Pete retains the belief that all spiritual paths are, like science itself, human-invented, and so to be properly appreciated, the beauty of their religious truths must be treasured as great but ever imperfect works; they are like poetry or art, whose power to inform us requires we have a humble heart, a mind open to non-literal interpretations, and a curious challenging reason. Pete believes that while any faith, when embraced with humility, may lead to deep personal liberation; collective liberation and achieving a just world requires we free ourselves, each other, and our relationships from the prison of our societal conditioning. We must all relinquish what we “know” to learn what really is – and a church is at its best when it is teaching us how little we know.