Leaders change at Unitarian Universalists of Southern Delaware

September 3, 2017

"The better the goodbyes, the better the transition," said the Rev. Paula Maiorano, outgoing interim minister of UUSD, when she began her two-year ministry in 2015. Her statement was an accurate forecast for the rousing and loving farewell given in her honor by a grateful congregation.

Maiorano led the congregation in a period dedicated to examination and planning in preparation for calling a permanent minister. Her appointment for the in-between times was filled with positive growth and change for UUSD, including a move to its new home at 30486 Lewes-Georgetown Highway in Lewes, expanded justice action and a 20 percent increase in membership.

The congregation welcomed the Rev. Michelle Collins as its third permanent minister with a joyous service and reception Aug. 6. Collins comes to UUSD with an extensive background in ministry that includes service at Unitarian Universalist congregations in Delaware and Maryland.

She is committed to finding means of greater connection and collaboration within UUSD and the larger community. Collins said, "I hope my ministry and leadership can be relevant, inviting and challenging. I hope to touch the needs and hearts of the people I serve, allowing each the space to grow and to be their authentic selves. I also hope to both inspire and support work against injustice and oppression, which our world and our country so desperately need right now. In short, to create a space where we journey together and we resist together."

Maiorano's interim ministry laid the groundwork for a new period of growth at UUSD, a beacon at the beach for progressive spiritual values. With the arrival of Collins, a new chapter has begun for a congregation dedicated to its vision of "Creating a spiritual community, embracing universal acceptance, justice and compassion." Her formal installation ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 5, and it will be open to the public.

For more information about UUSD, go to or call 302-313-5838.