All members were invited to vote at the Congregational Meeting on April 30, 2006 on a proposal to confer emerita status upon
Rev. Carolyn Colbert.
A dictionary definition of Emeritus indicates "retired but retaining an honorary title corresponding to that held immediately before retirement. Emerita is used of a woman: a professor emerita."
The designation was granted.
The resolution we were asked to consider:
Resolved, that the Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene, in gratitude and appreciation for the Rev. Carolyn Colbert's extraordinary and visionary service, reflected in outstanding membership, Religious Education and financial growth, and in innovative programming ranging from Worship Associates to Shared Ministry Groups, is hereby awarded the title of Minister Emerita of our church, and is afforded all the rights and privileges therein.
The rights and privileges for Minister Emerita include voting rights at all future GA sessions, and being able to include the "emerita" title on her personal correspondence.
Often the title is reserved for a minister who has served a congregation over many years. The honorific is also intended to honor Carolyn's entire ministerial career, not just her time with us. The Committee on Ministry and the congregation believe Carolyn's eight-year tenure with us merited this designation.
Between 1990 and 2005, emerita/emeritus status was given to 174 clergy in the UUA. An average of 11.6 clergy are given emerita/emeritus status per year. There are (on average) 24 ministers who retire each year, so the percentage who received emerita(us) status is very close to 50%. The average length of service was 10 to 12 years.
More information on our denomination's process and policies relating to emeritus/emerita status can be reviewed below or online at: