Excerpts from Letters of Reference
Meg and Bill Clontz, two former members of Mount Vernon Unitarian Church
We had the great pleasure and privilege to be active members of the Mount Vernon Unitarian Church (MVUC) for 20 years; we continue to stay in touch since leaving Virginia. Without a doubt, the Rev. Dr. Kate Walker has been the single most important factor in the development, life, and success of this congregation.
Kate has a strong intellect, a wonderful sense of humor, and an exceptional ability to read people. She knows when to give people room and she knows when to assert authority. She is a natural mentor to other employees. She instinctively knows what others need to be their best.
Under Kate’s leadership, MVUC has become a better community every year. Tensions with staff and ministers of years past are long gone. RE has been invigorated. Sunday services are must-see, thoughtful, and inspiring events. Memorial services respectfully invite grief, while allowing for joyous celebrations of life, because Kate knows the members so well. Management of all aspects of a large and challenging property is first rate. The sense of community and of possibilities is palpable. The willingness, eagerness even, to live values in the community and not just within the congregation are well established now. The staff is the best ever and serve as a real team under Kate’s leadership.
One of us (Bill) was a consultant for the UUA and had the opportunity to work with dozens of ministers and staff members. Kate simply stands at the head of that long and distinguished roster. We feel privileged to have been a part of her congregation for so many years. Any congregation or any other organization she may serve in the future will be so fortunate. Upon hiring Kate, they should play the lottery, for surely, they would be on a winning streak.
Dr. Kathleen Parker, fellow volunteer
I write this letter on behalf of Rev. Dr. Kate Walker, based on her role as President of the Unitarian Universalist History and Heritage Society (UUHHS) from 2011-2015.
... Rev. Walker then agreed to serve as president of UUHHS in the period after the merger. Despite my initial misgivings about her in that role – since she is not a historian – I came to appreciate the leadership she brought to our organization. She was upbeat and efficient, and kept our meetings moving through organizational business in a timely way. She was a great encourager, able to praise folks for their contributions, and was also willing to speak honestly with any who did not fulfill a job they had agreed to do. She took our work seriously, but she also brought a sense of fun to our meetings and dinner gatherings.
Finally, Rev. Walker has always been well connected to the UUA and to a wide network of UU ministers.
Rev. Walker clearly cared about the purposes behind our promotion of UU history, saying that her history work deepened her sense of our roots and the vision we have inherited from our ancestors.
I have known Rev. Kate for over ten years now and I consider her to be a dear friend and an even more dear colleague. I was introduced to Rev. Kate as someone trusted and wise to serve as my mentor as I began to transition from community ministry into parish ministry, and became more involved in our UU collegial circles. Rev. Kate is one of the most solid and grounded religious professionals I have ever met and had the privilege of learning from. Her compassion and thoughtful care shines throughout her ministry as a strong and measured leader.
Rev. Kate brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to every sermon, conversation and expression of leadership she undertakes. Unfailing and unflappable, Rev. Kate is a blessing to witness and work alongside with. As a colleague, I have personally relied on Rev. Kate multiple times for sage professional counsel and I trust her with my entire heart. I know many of our colleagues do as well. Rev. Kate has served on the local, regional and national level of our UU faith and is widely recognized as a stellar minister.
I am delighted to write to you on behalf of my friend and colleague Reverend Kate
Walker. I served as the Director of Lifespan Spiritual Growth at Mt. Vernon Unitarian Church in Alexandria, VA from 2006 - 2013, during which time I had the pleasure of working with Rev. Kate.
Of all the admirable qualities Rev. Kate possesses, I have to say my favorite is her ability
to build and maintain relationships. From the day she arrived at Mt. Vernon, Rev. Kate threw
herself into getting to know everyone. She approached all facets of the church organizational
structure and community life with a genuine, grounded, and energetic presence.
On a professional level, I can share that I felt a strong sense of collegiality with Rev.
Kate. We worked very closely, of course, because we were both full-time and leaders for our
community. As such, it was important for us to be able to collaborate on worship and
programming, and it was especially important that we communicated well. Rev. Kate supported and lifted me up in my work as a religious educator.
Rev. Kate is the kind of minister who blends the warmth of pastoral presence with wit
and humor and a strong sense of community. She is a minister in the full sense of the word and I hope you have the opportunity to experience her grace, humility, and strong leadership as I have.