As a Unitarian Universalist minister I serve to advance the cause of social justice in our communities at large. I believe that we are called as Unitarian Universalists to enact our faith in humanity and the world by practicing what we preach. My preaching ministry will reflect this call to action and I will continue to work with your congregation’s social justice groups to provide opportunities for service. Having spent years in public service, I have learned that we must persistently and consistently work towards change in whatever way we can. For me, this work is most effective at the local level where we can make a difference and be known for the difference we make.
In each congregation I have served have expanded our social action ministry significantly. The social justice team leaders I have recruited. devote a great deal of time to studying and planning for our work each year. The team sets the goals and projects in order to retain focus and not dilute our work by reacting to individual pet causes. My work has included establishing teams to tackle a variety of social justice causes including, refugee relief, anti-racism work, gender equity and education reform. I have led several congregations in a process of resolution making, providing for a more robust and wide ranging congregational response to justice ministry.
Beyond this, I have served as the president of the board and senior consultant for the Chalice Oak Foundation, a new non-profit dedicated to the formation of entrepreneurial ministries by newly ordained ministers to our movement. Chalice Oak provides a non-profit umbrella under which these new ministries can apply for grants. I am a graduate of the UUMA’s “Beyond the Call Entrepreneurial Ministry Program”.
While in Frederick, MD I was very active in involving our congregation in local issues around housing equality and racial justice. The congregation played an instrumental role in promoting interracial dialogue through a long time partnership with the NAACP. Those efforts dovetailed into my work as a community leader. For several years I served as Chair of the Frederick County Human Relations Commission. We were instrumental in promoting and seeing passed state legislation adding sexual orientation to protected classes in Maryland as well as securing enforcement power for the commission, a goal they had been pursuing for two decades. Experiences such as these bring evidence to Theodore Parker’s contention that “the moral arc of the universe is long but it bends toward justice.”
Inter-faith work has been and will continue to be an important part of my calling. I believe that as Unitarian Universalists we are especially suited for this important work. I have been active in several Inter-faith Alliances. These groups were an active voice in Muslim, Jewish and other faith conversations within a predominantly Christian communities. I have always nurtured relations with my inter-faith colleagues, especially Islamic and Jewish leaders.
In the Westport Congregation I have worked closely with our Director of Social Justice to develop a congregation anti-racism program which involves many community organizations in the wider areas we serve.
I am ardent supporter of Interweave, UUSC and our anti-racist/anti-oppression work. We are the people we have been waiting for!