The Rev. Colleen Squires
Hello, welcome, and thank you for checking out our church’s website, I sincerely hope you find what you are seeking. I think the most important thing I can tell you about myself is that I proudly serve this congregation as their first settled minister. All Souls is a young and vibrant church community of faith and this congregation has entered an exciting time of growth and development.
As for me, I was born and raised in Woodbridge, New Jersey and was brought up in a large Irish Catholic family. I attended Livingston College, an experimental college that was part of Rutgers University.
Livingston was created in direct response to the Newark Riots of 1968 and was chartered to have equal number of Blacks, Whites and Latino/as at all levels of the administration, faculty, staff and student body. Livingston’s mission statement was Strength Through Diversity, and it is a mission statement that I have continued to carry into my own life.
After graduation I moved up to Massachusetts where I immediately fell in love with the historic city of Boston, the majestic shoreline of New England’s Cape Cod and Linda Squires. In 2004, after seventeen years together, Linda and I were legally married.
Path to Unitarian Universalist Ministry
About 25 years ago, while attending a wedding ceremony I encountered Unitarian Universalism for the first time and immediately found my religious home. I was completely drawn in by its inclusiveness and its acceptance of theological diversity.
In 2005 I entered Andover Newton Theological School, one of the oldest Christian theological schools in the country. It was truly an interfaith seminary, the school enrolled high numbers of UU students and shared its campus and courses with Hebrew College. I did my chaplaincy training at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center and the Franciscan Hospital for Children located in Brighton, Massachusetts.
For two years I have served both our oldest congregation in the city of Boston, First Parish Church in Dorchester established in 1630 and our oldest community ministry, the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry. In May 2012 I was called by the congregation of All Souls Community Church of West Michigan to serve as their minister.
Along with serving the congregation of All Souls I currently also serves as a Heartland UUMA Chapter’s Good Officer. I am a member of the UU Trauma Response Ministry Team, this is a team of both lay people and ministers who are deployed to support a UU congregation experiencing traumatic event or crisis.
Our congregation currently has two seminarians actively in engaged in our ministerial credentialing process and I also serve a a third seminarian as a mentor which gives me the title of Adjunct Professor of Ministerial Formation at Meadville Lombard.
As a minister I am given the opportunity to live a life fully engaged in my deepest core belief – I believe that every one of us wants to know that we are loved and that we are not alone; therefore my ministry is based upon inclusive love and a welcoming sense of belonging. On Sunday mornings I stand at the front doors of the church greeting and welcoming both the well-seasoned members and the first-time visitors. My hopes and dreams for my ministry start here, in this key moment, because mine is a ministry of the heart where the stranger will always be welcomed.
On behalf of the congregation I serve, I warmly welcome you to worship with us on any given Sunday.
The Rev. Colleen Squires