I write as a congregant of UUCR and as a member of our Worship Associates (WA) committee. As a WA, I have served with Scot in the pulpit on numerous occasions during his two years as our congregation’s intern minister. I have also participated with him in our monthly WA Committee meetings. During those occasions, while deferring to the committee chairs and members, he has provided observations and suggestions that have demonstrated his strategic thinking, his diplomatic skills, his enthusiasm for effective problem solving, and what I call “people management”. I have been an active member of UUCR for 46 years and, as a result, worked with multiple ministers in varying capacities. Therefore, when I note Scot’s ability to promote his ideas effectively, I reflect an experienced perspective.
Delivering a sermon to a UU congregation can be a perpetual challenge; Scot has risen to it. His style of delivery has evolved to include occasional self-deprecating humor and effectively inserting wit as well as easy reference to his wide-ranging interests in science and philosophy. What makes his presentation intriguing and effective is his use of the unexpected, and his approach engages the congregation intellectually and theologically. I offer as an example, the sermon “Cosmos and Parables”.
Finally, I note Scot’s confidence is matched by his lack of pretense. His life experiences, including those of his prior professional career, seem to fuel his energy and enthusiasm for his anticipated new role as a minister.
— Barbara N., UUCR, 2019.
My perspective on Scot Hull’s period as a student and intern minister is grounded on 45 years as a UU, 39 of them at UUCR, twice as President, and as a current Board Member. I have known a lot of ministers.
Assessment of a person’s character is, naturally, somewhat subjective, my impression of Scot is that he is a man of very solid character. I point to two objective supports of that assessment. First, to have made a decision to leave a financially and professional secure position and pursue a totally different life as a UU minister was an act of courage and commitment that speaks of strong character. Having seen it through confirms his knowledge of himself and the determination to reach that goal. Secondly, I have witnessed his obvious great respect for his wife. I believe that the way a man treats his spouse (and children) is a window into his character.
As to Scot’s strengths, one important element of success in ministry (among many) is the ability to work well with the church’s leadership, specifically the governing board. For example, Scot came to the UUCR Board to introduce the idea of the Beloved Conversations program at a time when finances were being carefully scrutinized. They knew nothing about the program. Scot’s presentation was tactful, mindful of the Board’s concerns regarding what seemed to be a major cost, but without being strident, he expressed his belief about its value and how it could meet the serious needs of the congregation. The Board was impressed, trusted his judgment, and ultimately approved his request. (By the way, Beloved Conversations will be continued by people Scot trained to carry it forward.)
A most important skill for a UU minister is, of course, preaching. And Scot has impressed so many of us with his talent in this area. His sermons are thought-provoking, intellectual without being ponderous or dry. He is able to reshape topics in a way that sparks the interest and makes one rethink and revisit ideas, even if they are uncomfortable. And his sense of humor lifts spirits. I always take something away from his sermons that stays with me.
A third and crucial strength for a minister is being able to inspire trust. Scot’s open and warm personality creates a feeling of acceptance, a feeling that, if you need someone to talk to, you would find a good listener in him. Of course, this too is subjective, but I do know people who have felt safe in conveying their concerns to Scot, trusting that their words would remain confidential. That is just one aspect of the overall attitude of trust that a minister needs to create. My sense is that Scot will be able to do that.
Closely associated with this trust issue is style. Scot’s personal style is straightforward, open, accepting, and respectful. He treats serious subjects with the gravity they deserve but maintains a positive, hopeful perspective. Here again, his self-deprecating humor lifts spirits and makes you glad you came to church that day.
— Julia N., UUCR, 2019.
I write this letter of recommendation in support of Scot Hull, who is one of the most interesting individuals I have met in my 43-year career in technology, owning two businesses, world travel, and 64 years of life. From our first meeting 8 years ago, I immediately felt he was a person of belief, more importantly, belief that he can help those around him.
My experiences with Scot have included an ability to balance family, work, and demanding projects with passion. He seems to thrive on challenges and has an uncanny ability to adapt to just about any circumstance. He honors tradition and respects those around him – even those with ideas different from his own, with the intent to grow from within. His ability to routinely capture the beauty in his surroundings and convey it to a wide audience is incredible which, I feel, speaks to his true character and personal being. Scot appreciates quality, however, he is more interested in the aspirations that quality represents – both for the folks that make it (and their hopes at a life lived making art) and the folks that buy it (and the lives they hope to one day lead).
I’ve witnessed Scot collaborate and organize teams of individuals from various walks of life throughout the US, Europe, and Asia – selflessly guiding them to achieve their goals – this, in my view, is a very rare talent and one I respect.
Recommendations, or any letter of support, are not something I give freely. Without hesitation, I strongly recommend Scot Hull with high regard.
— Doug W., TVTI, 2019
Scot Hull is a cradle Unitarian Universalist, who was raised as a part of Cedar Lane UU in Bethesda, Maryland. For the past six years, Scot, Julia, and their two children (Naomi and Zachary) have been active members of the UU Congregation of Frederick, Maryland, where I have served as minister since 2012.
Naomi and Zachary are a regular part of our Religious Education program and Children’s Choir. Julia is both an active member of our adult choir, a regular special music provider (piano, guitar, and vocals) for Sunday services, and has led multiple personal growth workshops as part of our Adult Religious Education program.
The last two years, Scot has been less involved as he has been working on many Sunday mornings as the part-time Intern Minister at UU Reston, Virginia. But prior to that, Scot was a UUCF Board of Trustees member for two years during which we did extensive work on policy governance and Bylaws revision. He was also a regular participant in Adult Religious Education classes, and volunteered for two years as the coordinator for our Adult Religious Education program. In addition, Scot was part of our Worship Associates Team through which he has served as both a liturgist and a well-received guest preacher. Now that his Internship is complete, I look forward to Scot being able to be more involved again at UUCF. Indeed, he will be preaching at UUCF this summer.
I was not surprised when Scot requested to meet with me in 2015 about discerning a call to ministry. From conversing with Scot at length, my sense is that he had a call to attend seminary as early as his undergraduate years, but the lack of a religious studies major at the school he attend was one among many factors that stymied his call.
From September 2016 to May 2017, I served as Scot’s Teaching Pastor for his Community Studies internship as part of the requirements of Meadville-Lombard Theological School. The next year, I was the facilitator of the UUMA “Ministerial Formation Network” of which Scot was a part, which met two hours, once a month for nine months. We have also met fairly regularly for a few years now for coffee and conversation.
I have continued to be impressed with Scot’s depth of theological reflection, and through both CPE and his Internship, I have seen him increasingly integrate his head with his heart. His internship has also been a huge learning opportunity for the difficult work of discerning and drawing boundaries between the never-ending demands of parish ministry—balancing against the needs of family and self- care. Scot also has deep ethical commitments to social and environmental justice, and he is actively engaged in living into what those commitments mean for an able-bodied, straight white cis male in when our movement is rightly centering the work of Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression, and Multiculturalism.
Overall, I find Scot to be mature, grounded, and thoughtful. He’s a great preacher—insightful, funny, humane—and he is compassionate, non-anxious, and engaged one-on-one and in small groups. He is also generally enjoyable to spend time with, which matters as well.
After being a part-time seminarian for a while, Scot took a major leap of faith in early 2017 by quitting his job to pursue his Master of Divinity full-time, which put him on track to complete seminary in four years instead of seven years. Scot has immense potential as a UU minister, I already value and trust him as a colleague, and I recommend him highly and without hesitation to become a UU minister.
–Rev. Carl Gregg, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick, 2019.
It is with enthusiasm that I write this letter of recommendation for Scot Hull! I am currently the Director of Religious Education at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Frederick, MD where Scot attends as a congregant. Scot and I began our work together in August 2017 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Reston where I served as the Director of Religious Education and Music Director through June of 2018. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Scot as both a minister intern in Reston and a leader in his own congregation at UUCF. Scot’s strengths as a minister, colleague and leader within the UU faith are extremely evident and I couldn’t be happier to provide this reference.
Scot is a terrific communicator. He is open, honest, caring and always willing to pitch in with anything that is needed. At UUCR he led the Time for All Ages, Religious Education classes and provided the meditation and reflection for our Children’s Chapels. Students were thrilled when they saw Scot was teaching as he had a way of explaining big ideas and being open to questions that was affirming and kind. Whenever I asked for Scot’s help, he willingly and enthusiastically jumped in to get the job done. Scot seizes the opportunity to connect with children and is an amazing listener.
Throughout the year we worked together, I watched Scot grow into a storyteller who got down on the floor to interact with the children. He told several stories where he led the children in figuring out big numbers and the vast ideas of space, how to accept one another and I’ve even seen him get in front of the congregation with chocolate on his nose from a cupcake as part of the time for all ages about being a good friend. There isn’t anything Scot won’t try and he’s always up for working together on a story! He truly cares about developing and nurturing the UU community.
One of Scot’s greatest strengths is his willingness to collaborate. Whenever he was giving the sermon, he always wanted to work together to have a creative, inspiring well rounded experience. He loved hearing my ideas and welcomed feedback. Scot is quite good at recognizing the strengths in others and when planning together would encourage me to run with an idea that I felt passionate about.
I have heard Scot preach at both UUCR and UUCF. His sermons are thoughtful, provocative, and open. In Reston, I remember several members saying one particular day how much they appreciated his message. One person commented “he did it right — today felt like a church worth coming to.” Scot sees the value of nurturing and growing relationships and takes every opportunity to get to know people of all ages in the congregation. I know that he was very involved in pastoral care at UUCR.
Scot will be a phenomenal minister- one that I would love to have the opportunity of working with and for any day! I think his character, kindness, knowledge, collaborative spirit and passion is exactly the kind of well-rounded leader that our UU faith needs. I wholeheartedly believe that he would be an asset to any UU congregation.
— Nichole Hodges-Abbasi, UUCF, 2019.
I have known Scot Hull since he first matriculated at Meadville Lombard in the 2015-16 academic year. My initial impression of Scot was that he was thoughtful, articulate, eager, kind and composed. Over the years, I discovered that Scot indeed possesses all those qualities and so many more—all of which suit him so well to ministry.
I was able to engage with Scot most closely when he was a student in my class, “Crossing Boundaries: Religious Leadership in the New America.” “Crossing Boundaries” is a seven-day long intensive that takes place on the grounds the Chautauqua Institution, which is an intentionally multi-faith community that is centered around religion and the arts in Western New York State. Through the course of the week, the students are immersed in lectures, structured conversations, and worship services from a variety of religious perspectives. Events are scheduled from early morning to the late evening every day. It is a setting that allows me to see how students react when they are well beyond their comfort zone as they experience religious practices and ideas that are new (and sometimes anathema) to them, how they engage with their cohort of students when living in close proximately for an entire week, and how they introduce themselves as they meet dozens and dozens of laypersons for the very first time. It is a setting that Scot thrived in as he demonstrated that he is easy with strangers, deeply caring with his classmates and appropriately respectful to elders, mentors and instructors.
Most assuredly, when confronted with new religious practices, Scot is able to suspend judgment of those with whom he disagrees so he is able to enter into a genuine relationship with them. This is a talent and disposition that bodes well for all the dimensions of ministry. For it represents the ability to meet people where they are in order to help them identify who they are as spiritual and religious people.
This is not to say that Scot lacks his own core convictions-not at all. If you ask him to state his theological position or his understanding of church and ministry, you will receive a well thought out and humbly phrased articulation.
It is also important for you to know that Scot approaches his ongoing formation with intentionality and boldness. As an example of this, Scot is in deep discernment about what it means to be a straight/white/cisgender male of privilege who wants to conduct a ministry that is dedicated to true equity and authentic inclusion. Others might become overwhelmed by the challenge, but not Scot. He leans into it. He met the requirement of a senior leadership project by bringing the Beloved Conversations curriculum to his internship congregation. The issue of racial inclusion was not a priority for his supervisor, but Scot found a way to move forward with it, without interrupting that relationship. He took the risk because he knew that his lifelong formation as a minister and as a person of faith would be best served by the endeavor. He was right; it benefited both for him and the congregation.
Without question, Scot Hull’s ministry will benefit all that it touches.
— Rev. Dr. Lee Barker, Meadville-Lombard, 2019.
I have known Scot Hull for the last three years as a student in four of my courses at Meadville Lombard— “Preaching”, “Administration”, “History and Problems of Religious Humanism”, and “Leadership Studies”. Though I have not had occasion to observe him outside of the school context, I have been highly impressed by his intelligence, curiosity, and capacity for evenhanded analysis, coupled with a penetrating wit and personal warmth. This is a combination that is relatively rare in our students and bodes well for his pursuit of ministry.
Scot is interested in theological quandaries; he is enlivened by tough questions that call for serious reflection. His contributions to the class on Humanism were among the most insightful and reflective. He is no ideologue but one who is willing to question his own assumptions and change his mind, as appropriate.
At the same time, he is well aware that the traditional “virtues” of logic and intellectual fortitude do not serve us well if they mask vulnerability or a hunger for power. As a cis-gendered white male, he is working hard to recognize, own and dismantle his own privilege, to learn new ways to navigate the world, to preach from the heart as well as the head and to allow his own pain to inform, but not color, the care he offers to others. You will want to ask him about his progress on this journey.
That Scot comes from a corporate background with experience in sales management, strategy and training makes him unusual among our aspirants for ministry. Like Brock Leach, Scot does not present as a “corporate kind of guy;” he has far too much warmth, humor, and self-awareness for that. But I am impressed that he manages to utilize his corporate skills in ways that serve the institutions with which he is associated. Perhaps the one corporate trait he will need to unlearn is that in healthy ministry an end must come to a day so that proper value may be placed on family and self-care.
I have no hesitation in recommending Scot to you for our ministry. He will bring both strong fundamental skills that we seek in all our ministers coupled with additional capacities we rarely see. I hope you will enjoy getting to know him as much as I have.
Rev. Dr. William Schulz, Meadville-Lombard, 2019.
* These are some of the letters of recommendation shared with Scot and with the Miniserial Fellowship Committee. They were transcribed by hand, so Scot takes full responsibility for any errors in grammar and punctuation!