A Brief Introduction
Rev. Olivia Holmes is a Unitarian Universalist minister who feels a special calling to the work of interim ministry. She says of the time of congregational transition, “It is a time for reflection, for celebration, for healing. It is a time for congregational revisioning, and for working together to chart the course to a successful future settled ministry.”
Holmes was born into the First Church in Chestnut Hill, MA; then a Unitarian and now a UU church. In her teenage years she discovered the church of the all outdoors through skiing and golf, tennis and swimming.
Her career began in advertising and shifted into market research; a field in which she and a business partner build a mid-sized full-service firm specializing in toys, high technology industries, and foods. Wanting to contribute something to the larger world, Holmes increasingly focused her work on social marketing programs in the developing world, sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development.
While doing this work predominantly in Africa, Holmes returned to the denomination of her youth, discovering and becoming deeply involved in the Unitarian Universalist Church in Westport, CT., near her home. Within three years and with a strong sense of calling, Holmes had entered Harvard Divinity School, receiving the Master of Divinity Degree in 1991.
Since then Holmes has served as a settled minister, as an interim minister, and as the Director of International and Interfaith Relations for the Unitarian Universalist Association. Holmes retired from the UUA in 2006 to make time for special ministries and to plan for her retirement years. After volunteering for the International Association for Religious Freedom in 2006, she became their interim Managing Consultant, charged with articulating options for their organizational transition.
Holmes’s retirement planning included finding and purchasing a little antique house in Temple, N.H., into which she moved in May, 2007 with her two cats, Winston and Wiley.
She then followed her passion for Interim Ministry, serving the UU congregations in Keene and Concord, NH., and in Burlington, VT. Holmes has taken this past year as a sabbatical time to recover her physical strength after two successful surgeries (shoulder and ankle) last spring and to serve in both official and unofficial interim chaplaincies in her home village of Temple.