Posted by Rev. Lissa Anne Gundlach

Dear Friends,

By now you have received the news that Stephen Grimm will be retiring from Neighborhood Church and Pasadena Pro-Musica at the end of June, 2018. After nearly twenty years of service to the congregation, we celebrate Stephen’s long and impressive tenure at the church, and the possibilities that retirement will bring for him: rest and rejuvenation, time with his family here and abroad, and time for new opportunities and projects.  Nevertheless, Stephen’s transition will be deeply felt and will be a major change for the church.

As we plan a wonderful year of music with Stephen, including a fabulous farewell celebration in the spring, we also begin a process of planning for the future of the music program.  Music is central to our mission at Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church, expressed through our end to “recognize the importance of beauty and music in our church, our lives, and the world around us.” Enhancing our Sunday morning worship experience, music helps us connect spiritually and to our articulate our values and theology. Music builds community through the experience of communal singing and through our choirs.

Our search for the new leader (or leaders) for our music program will be a congregational effort, engaging the congregation in an intentional process to bring forward your hopes for the future of the music program, a future that will honor the legacy of excellence Stephen and his predecessors have established while creating a new vision to serve the ever evolving needs of our diverse and growing congregation.

Our search process will begin first by inviting members of our congregation to apply to serve on a music search committee led jointly by me as the Senior Minister and a lay committee chair. This search committee will begin to lay out a timeline for our process, listen to your feedback about music at our church and help shape the music position or positions for which we will search. The music search committee will be formed and begin its work together this winter. The application will be forthcoming and advertised widely amongst our congregation’s constituencies.

Your Board of Trustees, Stephen and I want to foster open dialogue about the music program’s future and welcome your feedback and ideas as we face these transitions. Please join us for a conversation about the music program on Sunday, October 1st at 1 pm in Ross Chapel. We have set up a special email account to receive your feedback at We all look forward to an inspiring year of making music together, rich with celebration and anticipation of what rich possibilities lie ahead.



Rev. Lissa