As a parish minister, my first and loudest calling will always be to the congregation I serve. I strive to be judicious in the investment of my time outside the congregation. In the same way that I focus my energy on select social justice issues in the larger community, so too I carefully select opportunities for service to our larger faith movement. However, as a lifelong Unitarian Universalist, I am deeply committed to the health, growth, and vitality of our movement.
I am a committed member of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA), have held office in two different UUMA chapters, and make attendance at monthly collegial meetings a priority.
In addition to my being a longtime member of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), every congregation that I have served has been supportive of the UUSC. Both the Paramus and Devon congregations were honored in consecutive years for both the percentage of congregants who were UUSC members and also total dollars raised each year. In January 2012, I led a 14-person team from the Main Line Unitarian Church on a UUSC Just Journeys work trip to Haiti and later that year at the Unitarian Universalist Association’s General Assembly in Phoenix, the Main Line congregation was presented with the UUSC’s 2012 Congregational Social Justice Award, recognizing the congregation’s overall institutional effort to advance human rights work. UUSC Presidents and CEOs Charlie Clements, Bill Schulz, and – most recently – Tom Andrews have all spoken at churches that I have served.
I was proud to serve for two years as vice president and four years as president of Meadville Lombard Theological School’s alumni/ae association. In the latter capacity, I served as Alumni/ae Representative on the Meadville Lombard Board of Trustees during a remarkable period of transformation at the school. During my term of service, the school adopted a new educational model that has garnered nationwide praise across denominational lines, relocated the school’s campus to downtown Chicago, and restored financial security to the institution. Today, the Association of Theological Schools in America recognizes Meadville Lombard as forerunner in theological education for the 21st century.
In recent years, I have become more engaged in the work of the Partner Church Council and was honored to have been asked to preach for them at the 2011 General Assembly in Charlotte, NC. In July 2016, I made a pilgrimage to Transylvania to visit our historic Unitarian heartland and visit with the Montclair congregation’s partner church in Szentabraham, Romania. I feel that the appeal of Unitarian Universalism extends beyond America’s shores and have enjoyed carrying the message of our faith to other nations.
My most recent denominational commitment was as a volunteer member of the Unitarian Universalist Military Ministries Committee, a group that supports UU chaplains in our nation’s armed forces. Having reaped the benefit of my parents’ embrace of Unitarian Universalism 60 years ago, I appreciate the promise of our faith and am dedicated to sharing the good news of liberal religion widely and loudly. I sincerely hope that any congregation I serve would share this passion for Unitarian Universalism and its future.