Resignation of Rev. Anthony Makar

Dear Members and Friends,

Over the past 12 years, you and I have seen so many changes in our congregation and in the world.

For 12 years we have walked together in love and justice.

Together, we have laughed and cried.

We have celebrated new births, and we have mourned our beloved dead.

We have accomplished so much together.

But seven years after my divorce, I am still not where I want to be in my personal life. I long to find fulfillment, and it’s not happening for me in Atlanta. From the pulpit I have spoken about loneliness, and I have been personally struggling with that for a long time now.

Several months ago, I became aware of another ministry opportunity that would allow me to live in a smaller Northern city, closer to Canada, the land of my birth. The job opening was in Cleveland, Ohio. When I learned of it, I visited Cleveland and fell in love. It reminded me of Edmonton, Alberta, where my grandparents lived.

I also came to learn wonderful things about the congregation there, West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, and the opportunity for a fresh start excited me.

So it was with great joy that I have just recently learned that the congregation has selected me as their Candidate for Senior Minister. If all goes as planned, I will start work there August 1, 2019.*

Even as I am joyful, I also deeply grieve the loss that comes with this decision. I will miss you. My choice to leave is not about my relationships with UUCA members or staff. I love you. My choice is more about fulfilling personal hopes and desires.

More about all of this will be said this upcoming Sunday, April 7, in worship. The sermon title is very appropriate: “Peace in the Heart.” Our Board President Carol Ann Arvan will be one of the speakers, together with Taryn Strauss, Don Milton III, and myself.

I have been in open communication with the Board and key leaders during my time of discernment, and we will continue to work together as we develop a strategy for the congregation moving forward. I know that I will be leaving you in a time of physical transition and a need to raise substantial funds. I pledge to use my remaining time at UUCA to work with leaders to make sure you get through the challenges ahead.

Now begins a time of saying goodbye, celebrating all we have accomplished together, and ushering in new possibilities and opportunities. My hope is that we can live into this transition time with mutual care and compassion for each other, and may we be filled with thanksgiving for our 12 years together.

With respect, gratitude, and love,

Rev. Anthony Makar

Senior Minister

Note: The starred paragraph reflects a slight adjustment of the letter’s original language, which was: “So it was with great joy that I have just recently learned that the congregation has offered me its position of Senior Minister, and I have accepted. I will start work there August 1, 2019.”

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