Meet Our Fall 2019 Interim Sabbatical Minister

Rev. Dr. Davida Foy Crabtree

Greetings, First Church!  I am so very pleased to be asked to serve with you for a portion of this fall while your pastor, Julia, is on sabbatical.  I have known you as a church since at least 1980, have visited you as Conference Minister on several occasions, and now I get to know you even better!

I see our time together as a way of encouraging you as a congregation in your leadership and ministry, in your imagining and innovating, in your care for one another and for the world beyond your doors that God has given you to love into a new way of being – a way of compassion, justice, peace and hope. I will be with you in pastoral leadership on Sundays with Rev. Mahogany and on Wednesday mornings from 10-12 to prepare for Sundays and to be available should I be needed for consultation. I’ll even get to preach three times!

I’ll also be leading a second hour on two Sundays on how the UCC came to be the progressive religious movement it now is. I hope you’ll join me – I love telling the stories of the people whose lives shaped us over the last 400 years or so. This isn’t dry and dusty history, but the amazing and inspiring stories of our predecessors in faith – even with all their foibles and failures, I’m still astonished at the impact of their witness.  Some of these are the stories that kept me going when the great majority of people around me tried to tell me women couldn’t be ministers. They are stories of hope and we need those these days!
I’m hoping we’ll have fun together, be moved by the Spirit in worship, pray regularly for your pastor on her sabbatical, and hold the gospel light in the midst of Middletown, as you always do.

The Rev. Dr. Davida Foy Crabtree is a United Church of Christ minister who has served in a variety of settings across the Church. Her most recent position was as Interim Vice President for Advancement at Andover Newton Theological School. Prior positions include serving as Interim and Acting Conference Minister in Florida and Missouri Mid-South Conferences, and as Conference Minister for Connecticut (14 years) and for Southern California (5 years). In between, she has served as Senior Consultant to the Collegium of Officers of the UCC nationally for three years, and as consultant to local churches. Before her call to Southern California in 1991, she served as a local church pastor in CT for 11 years.

Davida has a keen interest in the application of the faith to daily life.  As a result she earned her Doctor of Ministry from Hartford Seminary with a focus on connecting Sunday and Monday in laity’s lives. That interest also has given her a lifelong passion for both contemporary social movements within Christianity and for the history of our life as the United Church of Christ and especially its Congregational heritage in which she grew up.

Davida has recently moved into a retirement community in Connecticut which is known for its dedication to living green, and that parallels her commitment since childhood to care for the earth, a notion introduced to her by her science teacher mother.  She is stepmother to two Vermonters and grandmother to five.

If you need to reach Rev. Davida, please call the office at 860-346-6657 and Kortney can put you in touch.