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In Memory of . . . Charlotte J. Saleska (1935-2012)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Rev. Charlotte Justice Saleska died of Alzheimer’s disease on December 28, 2012. She was 77 years old.

Rev. Saleska was born in Marion, IN on August 16, 1935 to Olive (Heal) and Enos Edward Justice. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Taylor University in 1957 and a Master of Arts from Hunter College in 1964. Finally, in 1988, she earned both a Master of Arts in Religious Studies from the University of Chicago Divinity School and a Master of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School. As a student at Meadville Lombard, she helped create and implement the first women’s studies course at the seminary, and led a call for the school to hire female professors to the all-male faculty.

Rev. Saleska was ordained on June 6, 1988. She was first called to serve the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Quad Cities in Davenport, IA, becoming their first and only female settled minister, from 1988-2000. She then went on to serve as interim minister at the First Universalist Unitarian Church of Wausau, WI from 2000-2001, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tampa, FL from 2001-2002. In 2000, she was bestowed with the honor of Minister Emeritus of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Quad Cities.

Rev. Saleska brought her diverse background to her work as a minister. She was a social worker at Head Start Families in Milwaukee, WI from 1968-1975; coordinator of the Milwaukee-area high school Inter-Urban Health Careers program from 1975-1980; and, for many years, a high school English teacher. While her husband, the Rev. Charles Saleska, was serving the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville, FL (1980-1985), she served as the Fellowship’s Director of Religious Education from 1983-1985. She often recalled that, growing up as an Indiana farm girl in the 1940s and 1950s, it never occurred to her that ministry was something a woman could do. When her husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness, though, her women’s group helped her see what had really been her deeper call: ministry. And, in 1985, at age 50, she entered Meadville Lombard Theological School.

Rev. Saleska’s tenure as minister, as in life, was marked by a love of literature, a commitment to religious pluralism and social justice, and the enduring power of liberal religion in local congregations. While in Davenport, IA, she co-founded the Interfaith Theological Symposiums to bring her Unitarian Universalist Congregation together with Edwards Congregational United Church of Christ and the Temple Emanuel Reform Jewish congregation, for religious dialogue and social action. An early supporter of marriage equality, she began performing gay and lesbian wedding ceremonies in the early 1990s. As part of her passion for merging justice and religion, Rev. Saleska also helped guide the church through a building expansion that created more religious education classroom and meeting space.

Rev. Saleska’s passion for women’s issues, and for reclaiming the role of women in human society, began at home as she taught and guided her sons to feel compassion and respect, and to speak out for women and women’s issues; and expanded to include her engagement in seminary and in ministry. She also loved deep discussions of any kind, especially book discussion groups and movie discussions. Because of her background in English literature and her love for Shakespeare, she could quickly recall and expound on literary references, metaphors and poems, giving them voice in her sermons and discussions. She loved to garden, and in later years, her house was full of green and growing plants of many varieties. Rev. Saleska also loved to travel, and during her years of ministry she took trips to Transylvania, Germany, France, and Italy. When she could, she also traveled to Chicago and New York to visit friends and attend the theater. One of her favorite activities before and after retirement was to drive to Spring Green, WI, to meet her sister and brother-in-law to attend Shakespeare plays by the American Players Theater.

Rev. Saleska is survived by her sisters, Carol Jones and Carmen Wilks; brothers, Warren Justice and Sam Justice; son, Scott Saleska, his wife, Kirsten Engel and their daughter, Helene; son, Kent Saleska, his wife, Heidi Saleska, and their children, Parker and Mirek.

A memorial service will take place on Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church West, 13001 West North Avenue, Brookfield, WI 53005.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation (http://www.uuwf.org/donatejoin.html) or to Planned Parenthood (http://www.plannedparenthood.org/) in honor of the Quad-Cities location Rev. Saleska helped establish.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Kent Hemmen Saleska at 210 12th Ave. N., Hopkins, MN 55343 (revkent@uucmtka.org); or to Scott Saleska at 2210 E. Hawthorne St., Tucson, AZ 85719 (srsaleska@gmail.com).

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In Memory of . . . John "Jack" Wilkinson, III (1928-2012)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Rev. John "Jack” Wilkinson, III died on October 22, 2012 at the age of 84.

Rev. Wilkinson was born in Syracuse, NY on July 24, 1928 to Mary Leavenworth (Van Duyn) Wilkinson and John Wilkinson, Jr. He attained his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Miami in 1951. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served during the Korean War. Later, in 1964, he received a Bachelor of Divinity from St. Lawrence University Theological School.

Rev. Wilkinson was called to the Second Universalist Church of Weymouth, MA in 1964 (where he was also ordained on October 11, 1964) and served as the minister there until 1968. He was then called to the Unitarian Universalist Church in Chattanooga, TN from 1968-1976. Lastly, he served as interim minister at St. Paul’s Universalist Church in Little Falls, NY from 1989-1990. He retired from the ministry in 1990.

Rev. Wilkinson denominational activities included his work in 1965 on the Family Summer Institute Planning Committee in Ferry Beach, NH; his position as Chairman of the Religious Arts Committee for the Ballou-Channing District from; his work as an advisor to the Liberal Religious Youth Spring Conference in Lynn, MA; the position of Chairman of the Arts Committee for the Thomas Jefferson District from; and as Treasurer of the Southeast Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association from. He also participated in the historic civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, AL.

Rev. Wilkinson was a social activist who made a sincere investment in his communities by serving as President of the Chattanooga chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union; as a board member, member of the Executive Committee, and Treasurer of the Tennessee Civil Liberties Union; and as a member of the Religious Committee of the Chattanooga Bicentennial Commission.

Many people knew that Rev. Wilkinson was also an artist. He was actively involved in theatre throughout his life as an actor and playwright. He played roles in Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, The Diary of Anne Frank, Death of a Salesman, and Blithe Spirit, to name just a few. He also conceived and developed a few one-man pieces containing the works of Jorge Luis Borges, Robert Frost, and Rudyard Kipling.

Known as a "guy with a heart of gold,” an acquaintance described Rev. Wilkinson as "direct, but sensitive in drawing individuals out…He could be a bit crusty in style, but it was apparent that he had a caring heart, an open mind, and a profound concern for justice.”

Rev. Wilkinson is survived by daughter, Heather Hope Wilkinson; son, John Wilkinson, IV; son, Wells Gilliam Wilkinson; sister, Hope Wilkinson Cushman; brother Edward Van Duyn Wilkinson; and grandchildren, Maretta Hope Dewitt and John Wilkinson, V.

A memorial service took place on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 3 p.m. at the Unitarian Fellowship of Huntington, 619 Sixth Ave., Huntington, WV 25701.

Notes of condolence may be sent to John Wilkinson, IV at 1046 Monroe Ave., Huntington, WV 25704.

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In Memory of . . . Dwight Brown (1927-2012)

Posted By Administration, Friday, November 9, 2012

The Rev. Dr. Dwight Brown died on October 14, 2012 at the age of 84. Rev. Brown was born in Zanesville, OH on November 4, 1927 to Mae and the Rev. O. Dwight Brown. He attained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College in 1950. In 1958, he went on to earn a Bachelor of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry. He received an honorary Doctor of Sacred Theology from Starr King School for the Ministry in 1971.

Rev. Brown was called to the First Unitarian Church of Trenton, NJ in 1948 (where he was also ordained on October 5, 1958) and served as the minister there until 1961. He was then called to the Unitarian Church of Calgary, Alberta, Canada from 1961-1964. Switching gears, he then became the District Executive of the UUA New York Metropolitan District from 1964-1968. He returned to parish ministry with a long run as minister of the First Unitarian Church in Dallas, TX from 1968-1976. He found himself back in the UUA world with the position of Director of the UUA Office of Ministerial Finances (which is now the UUA Office of Church Staff Finances) from 1976-1978. In 1978, he returned once again to parish ministry as minister of the First Unitarian Church of Cleveland, OH until 1988. He then became a District Executive of the Southwestern Unitarian Universalist District from 1988-1992. He officially retired from ministry in 1992.

While Rev. Brown was District Executive of the Southwestern Unitarian Universalist District, the district established its first Leadership Experience, a training program for lay leaders. Named after Rev. Brown, the District’s Dwight Brown Leadership Experience is "designed to teach and reinforce skills and abilities for leaders and leaders-to-be in UU congregations.”

Rev. Brown lived a full and accomplished ministerial life. He proudly walked alongside the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King during the march from Selma to Montgomery, AL in 1965. He also boldly and respectfully provided abortion counseling both before the passing of Roe v. Wade and after.

In a sermon delivered at the 1982 UUA General Assembly, entitled "Impersonating the Divine: An Essay in Theological Anthropology,” Rev. Brown notes,

Human history is MY history. What I am today is linked in a living chain of being with all lives past. I am Socrates, probing the mysteries of the mind. I am Moses, proclaiming the majesty of the moral law. I am Jesus, witnessing to the love which animates the process in which I live and move and have my being. I am Galileo, meditating on the pathways of the stars. I am Johan Sebastian Bach, composing temples of beauty out of the raw stuff of the imagination. I am Susan B. Anthony, proclaiming a new era in human development.

But what is even more significant is that what I am now, as I participate in the complex patterns of humanness which exist in this moment of time, as I connect with the humanness of others in those myriad currents of meaning and sharing which make up the human network, what I am now is and remains a part of the totality of humanness, which is ongoing, continuing, immortal, so in the most simple and literal way, the humanness which is in me will live on, long after that instant of awareness which I call in me has finally faded.

Known as a "great intellect who was curious about everything and never stopped learning,” Rev. Brown enjoyed writing, books, computers, sailing, good food, good company, and good conversation. He was especially fond of time spent with his family and friends.

Rev. Brown is survived by his loving wife, Marie E. Brown; daughter, Janet E. Darez; daughter, Deborah L. Brister; daughter, Stephanie L. Murray; son, David A. Brown; sister, Elaine Clum; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by his father, the Rev. O. Dwight Brown; mother, Mae Brown; and mother-in-law, Grace V. Wilson.

There will be a memorial service on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Hill Country, 960 Barnett St., Kerrville, TX 78028.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Marie E. Brown at 916 Barnett St., Kerrville, TX 78028.

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In Memory of . . . Jack Mendelsohn (1918-2012)

Posted By Administration, Friday, November 9, 2012

The Ministries and Faith Development staff offers our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Dr. Jack Mendelsohn who died on October 11, 2012 at the age of 94.

Rev. Mendelsohn was born in Cambridge, MA on July 22, 1918 to Jack and Anna (Torrey) Mendelsohn. Rev. Mendelsohn attained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston University in 1939. He then went on to earn a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from Harvard Divinity School in 1945. He received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School in 1962.

Rev. Mendelsohn was ordained by the Beverly Unitarian Church in Chicago, IL on October 28, 1945. He was called to the Unitarian Church in Rockford IL and served there from 1946-1954. He then went on to serve the All Souls Unitarian Church in Indianapolis, IN from 1954-1959. Rev. Mendelsohn was called to the Arlington Street Church in Boston, MA and served there from 1959-1969. The years 1969-1978 found him working at the First Unitarian Society of Chicago until he moved his ministry to the First Parish in Bedford, MA where he served from 1979-1988. Rev. Mendelsohn retired and began his next career as an interim minister at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara. He served there from 1990-1991, and then found himself back in the northeastern United States at the Community Church of Boston, where he served from 1991-1993. He served as an interim minister from 1993-1994, and for the last time, at the First Parish Church in Beverly, MA. In 1988, he was named Minister Emeritus of the First Parish in Bedford.

Rev. Mendelsohn’s lifetime of community activities and accomplishments were vast and impressive. He served as president of the following: the Urban League of Greater Boston, Boston’s Foundation for Housing Innovations, the Binder Schweitzer Foundation, Hyde Park and Kenwood Council of Churches and Synagogues, Chicago’s Alliance to End Repression, and the Abraham Lincoln Centre. He was the president and CEO of the Civil Rights Project, Inc.; and the grant administrator of Eyes On The Prize, an award-winning public television series on the civil rights movement. He served as director of the following: the Housing and Planning Association of Metropolitan Boston, the International Institute of Boston, and Chicago’s Center for Psychotherapy and Religion.

Heavily invested in and committed to the denomination, Rev. Mendelsohn served as: a member and an officer of the Board of Directors for the Western Unitarian Conference; vice-president of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee; chairman of the board of Beacon Press; vice-chairman of the Unitarian Universalist Black Affairs Council; chairman of the UUA’s Program Committee; chair of the UUA’s Channing Bicentennial Celebration Committee; chair of the UUA Committee on Urban Concerns and Ministry; and president of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA). He was also once a candidate for the presidency of the UUA; a founding member of the Association for Liberal Religious Studies (Collegium); a consultant for the Cambridge Forum; the only male member of the UUA Committee on Women and Religioun; and an adjunct faculty member at Meadville Lombard Theological School. In 1997, he received the UUA Distinguished Service Award.

Long active in civil rights and political matters, Rev. Mendelsohn made headlines when he conducted the Vietnam War Resistance service at Arlington Street Church in Boston in 1967. He also served as an advisor on religious questions to his friend and fellow UU, Adlai Stevenson; and, in 1968, he served on the campaign staff of Robert F. Kennedy. In 1979, an old friend and colleague, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, asked Rev. Mendelsohn to accompany him on his trip to the Middle East to meet with Yasser Arafat. 15 years later in 1984, he once again travelled with Rev. Jackson to Syria to attend negotiation talks with Syrian President Hafez Assad.

At the 1969 UUA General Assembly, Rev. Mendelsohn came to the microphone on a point of personal privilege following a critical close vote on agenda priority for funding of the Black Affairs Council. He stated that he was leaving the floor of the Assembly and going across the street to Arlington Street Church to contemplate what had happened. This gesture triggered a mass walkout of many Assembly delegates and the ensuing negotiations that resulted in re-consideration of the black empowerment agenda.

A prolific and engaging writer on the subject of liberal religion, Rev. Mendelsohn was the writer of many denominational pamphlets and magazine articles. He also published seven books: Why I Am A Unitarian (Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1960); God, Allah and Juju (Beacon Press, 1965); The Forest Calls Back (Little Brown and Co., 1965); The Martyrs: Sixteen Who Gave Their Lives for Racial Justice (Harper and Row, 1966); Channing: The Reluctant Radical (Little Brown and Co., 1971) and Being Liberal in an Illiberal Age: Why I Am a Unitarian Universalist (Beacon Press, 1964/Skinner House, 1995). Rev. Mendelsohn’s Why I Am books have provided thousands of people with their first in-depth introduction to Unitarian Universalism.

On the subject of "Immortality for Skeptics” in his seminal work, Being Liberal in an Illiberal Age: Why I Am a Unitarian Universalist, Rev. Mendelsohn wrote,

When we reason together about the truths and mysteries of life, there is one all-powerful reality: The humanity of which we are individual expressions is a product of the sense and nonsense of our forebears. We are the living immortality of those who came before us. In like manner, those who come after us will be the harvest of the wisdom and folly we ourselves are sowing. To let this reality permeate and drench our consciousness is to introduce ourselves to the grand conception of immortality which makes yearnings for some form of personal afterlife seem less consequential. So long as there is an ongoing stream of humanity I have life. This is my certain immortality. I am a renewed and renewing link in the chain of humanity. My memory and particularity are personal, transitory, finite; my substance is boundless and infinite. The immortality in which I believe affirms first and foremost my unity with humankind. My unity with humankind gives meaning to my desire to practice reverence for life. It is pride in being and pride in belonging to all being.

Rev. Mendelsohn is survived by his loving wife, Judith Frediani; son, Channing Mendelsohn; daughter, Deborah Mendelsohn; son, Kurt Mendelsohn; granddaughters, Olivia Jenkins and Hannah Kossow; step-son, Aaron Worth; step-daughter, Keilah Worth; and step-grandson, Luca Domingos-Worth.

A memorial service will be held on Monday, November 12, 2012 at 1 p.m. at The First Parish in Bedford, 75 Great Rd., Bedford, MA 01730.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Judith Frediani at 51 Butler Ave., Maynard, MA 01754.

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In Memory of . . . John F. "Jack" Hayward (1918-2012)

Posted By Administration, Friday, November 9, 2012

The Rev. Dr. John F. "Jack” Hayward died on September 24, 2012. He was 94 years old.

Rev. Hayward was born in Winthrop, MA on May 8, 1918 to Catherine and Frank Hayward. He graduated with an A.B. from Harvard University in 1940. He went on to attain a B.D. from Meadville Theological School in 1943 and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 1949. Finally, in 1968, he earned a D.D. from Meadville Lombard Theological School.

Rev. Hayward was ordained on June 10, 1943. He served as a military chaplain in the United States Naval Reserve and later, in the Marines, from 1943-1946. He was called to serve as minister of the First Unitarian Church in Columbus, OH from 1948-1951. He then began his career in higher education at the University of Chicago, serving as an Assistant Professor of Religion and Art from 1951-1956 and as an Assistant Professor of Philosophical Theology from 1956-1961. He went on to work as an Associate Professor of Theology at Meadville Lombard Theological School from 1961-1968. In the years spanning 1968-1983, he served as the Chair of the Department of Religious Study at Southern Illinois University. He retired in 1983.

A passionate writer on the power of the ongoing relationship between art, mythology and religious life, Rev. Hayward’s words were published in Through the Rose Window: Art, Myth and the Religious Imagination (Skinner House, 1980), a collection of sermons that span over 30 years. Earlier in his career, he also wrote Existentialism and Religious Liberalism (Beacon Press, 1962).

Rev. Hayward was a proud, founding member of Prairie Group. He served as the Scribe for over 20 years, and received Emeritus status from them upon his retirement from the group after 54 years.

Rev. Hayward’s chief delight while at Harvard University was being in the Harvard Glee Club. He sang in public concerts, including a few with the Boston Symphony. A life-long devotion to the arts – specifically classical music – led Rev. Hayward and his first wife, Muriel Sternglanz Hayward, to establish the Southern Illinois Chamber Music Society, which still performs at the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship today.

Regarding a performance of Hamlet that he attended when he was much younger, Rev. Hayward once wrote,

I can still see in my mind’s eye an almost totally dark stage where an invisible Hamlet was speaking with the equally invisible ghost of his royal father. All of heaven, hell, life, and death had to be visualized by the movement of Hamlet’s two small hands. Nevertheless, the eloquence was there to prove it possible that each of us, before we die, may hope to believe that life is beautiful, terrifying, and self-justifying, and that gratitude for life itself is our best way of saying farewell.

Rev. Hayward is survived by his loving wife, Lois Hayward; daughter, Miriam Hayward and her husband, Rick Herbert; son, David Goodward and his wife, Margaret; grandchildren, Megan Hayward, Zachary Hayward, Joseph Herbert, Gina Hayward, Gavin Goodward, and Jenna Goodward; and great-grandson, Jaden. He was predeceased by his sons, Peter Hayward and Steven Hayward; and his beloved first wife, Muriel Sternglanz Hayward.

A memorial service will take place on November 3, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. at the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship, 105 North Parrish Lane, Carbondale, IL 62901.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any of the following organizations:

Southern Illinois Chamber Music Society, School of Music, Altgeld Hall, Mail Code 4302, Southern Illinois University, 1000 S. Normal Ave., Carbondale, IL 62901;

TIP Hospice of Southern Illinois, 707 Walnut St., Murphysboro, IL 62966;

Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, 1231 Lincoln Drive, Mail Code 4429, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901;

Good Samaritan Ministries of Carbondale, 701 South Marion St., Carbondale, IL 62901.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Lois Hayward at 1020 Villa Ct., Carbondale, IL 62901.

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In Memory of . . . Steven C. Reinhartsen (1951-2012)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Reverend Steven C. Reinhartsen died unexpectedly at home on September 14, 2012. He was 61 years old.

Rev. Reinhartsen was born in Amityville, NY on June 7, 1951. He attained his Bachelor of Science degree from Valparaiso University in 1973. In 1981, he went on to earn a Master of Education from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Finally, in 1997, he earned a Master of Divinity from Duke University.

Rev. Reinhartsen was ordained on January 12, 2003 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greensboro, NC. A community minister, he spent over two decades as a career counselor to students at Alamance Community College. Recruited by a small group of Unitarian Universalist residents to help form the UU Fellowship of Twin Lakes in January 2000, he also provided spiritual leadership and preaching to the Unitarian Universalist group at Twin Lakes Retirement Center in Elon, NC.

Rev. Reinhartsen’s life experiences were vast, including years of travel and adventure. During and after college, he hitchhiked across the U.S. twice; studied for a semester in Germany; and spend two years teaching in Australia. He and his wife, Mary, travelled extensively throughout their years together. They visited nearly every major national park, and also travelled to places such as Paris, London, Santa Fe, Costa Rica, Niagara Falls, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Rev. Reinhartsen enjoyed jogging, hiking, golfing, landscaping, fantasy baseball, and a good bottle of red wine. Described as a "quiet, wise, kind man,” he made those that knew him "feel at ease from the beginning” with his "calm nature.” A friend noted, "Steve was such a thoughtful person and so many people will always remember him for that.”

Rev. Reinhartsen is survived by his wife, Mary Davis; a son, Karl Reinhartsen; a brother, Paul Reinhartsen; a brother, Lars and his wife Gretchen Reinhartsen; as well as nieces Rois, Maja, and Zoe.

A memorial service was held on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greensboro in Jamestown, NC.

As many of his friends, colleagues and family knew, Rev. Reinhartsen was passionate about the work-study program at Alamance Community College and how beneficial it was for students to hone their skills before entering the workforce. In honor of this legacy of passionate advocacy for students, the College has created the Steven Reinhartsen Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship will benefit work-study students at ACC and help with tuition, books and emergency expenses. Donations for the Steven Reinhartsen Memorial Scholarship may be sent (with "Reinhartsen Scholarship” in the memo line) to ACC Foundation, P.O. Box 8000, Graham, NC 27253.

Donations may also be made to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greensboro, 5603 Hilltop Road, Jamestown, NC 27282

Notes of condolence may be sent to Mary Davis at 120 Forestview Dr., Elon, NC 27244.

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In Memory of . . . W. Edward Harris (1935-2012)

Posted By Administration, Friday, August 31, 2012

The Ministries and Faith Development staff offers our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Reverend W. Edward Harris who died on August 10, 2012. He was 77 years old.

Rev. Harris was born in Tampa, FL on June 17, 1935 to Ira Walter Harris and Ruth Hope Duss. Soon after, his father remarried and he was raised by Mary Elizabeth (Smith) Harris, whom he referred to as his mother. He attained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Birmingham-Southern College in 1957. In 1968, he went on to earn a Master of Divinity from Tufts University’s Crane Theological School. He received a Merrill Fellowship from Harvard Divinity School in 1980.

Rev. Harris was called by the Arlington Street Church in Boston, MA in 1967 (where he was also ordained on November 3, 1968) and served as the minister there until 1970. He was then called to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana Champaign in Urbana, IL from 1970-1983. He experienced another long run as minister of All Souls Unitarian Church in Indianapolis, IN from 1984-1992. There, he was bestowed with the title of Minister Emeritus in 1992. He worked as an interim minister at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda, MD from 1992-1993; the Unitarian Church of Evanston, IL from 1993-1995; the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Shelter Rock in Manhasset, NY in 1997; and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis, IN from 2003-2004. He also consulted on health care issues at the UUA from 1997-1998, and helped found the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Hendricks County in Danville, IN.

Rev. Harris was a passionate civil rights and political activist. He was a founder and president of the Alabama Civil Liberties Union and also served on the board of the American Civil Liberties Union. He pioneered voter registration campaigns in Birmingham, AL following 1964’s Civil Rights Act. He was a board member of the Birmingham Council on Human Relations and served on Birmingham’s first Anti-Poverty Committee. Rev. Harris also worked on both the Kennedy-Johnson and the Johnson-Humphrey campaigns of the 1960s. He was chairman of the Illinois Committee for Jimmy Carter, and also served on the Democratic National Committee on the Platform and Credentials Sub-committee.

A dedicated and engaging writer and poet, Rev. Harris published seven books: Life Will Never Be the Same (1989); A Religion of the Heart (1990); A Garage Sale of the Mind (1991); A Midwife’s Tale and Other Christmas Stories (1994); How You Can Have a Good Day Everyday (even if you made other plans) (1995); The Way It Happened: Five Christmas Stories (1996); Miracle in Birmingham: a Civil Rights Memoir, 1954-1965 (2004); and The Wine of Astonishment (2010). Four short articles by Rev. Harris can also be found in the Walt Whitman Encyclopedia (1998).

Known to many as an "impressive, yet humble, man,” Rev. Harris has been described as having "enjoyed the fine art of good conversation” with "wonderful humor and storytelling.” He was noted to be "an ideal model for ministers who wonder how to maneuver through emeritus status.” To some he was a "wise mentor and teacher,” and to many, he will be remembered as "a man generous with joy.” His wife of 56 years, Sandra, remembers him simply as "a magnificent human being.”

Rev. Harris is survived by his wife, Sandra (Gutridge) Harris; two sons, Mark Emory Harris and Phillip Stone Harris; three grandchildren, Tabitha Grace Camp, Ian Dougherty-Harris, and Maya Dougherty-Harris; a brother, James Tyra Harris; a sister, Ruth Reader; a son-in-law, Steven Camp; and former daughter-in-law, Deborah Dougherty. He was predeceased by a daughter, Edith Harris Camp.

There will be a memorial service on September 8, 2012 at 2 p.m. at All Souls Unitarian Church, 5805 East 56th St., Indianapolis, IN 46226.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Sandra Harris at 5705 Crestview Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46220.

This church is not a place of right convictions, a fortress of truth or even a bastion of philosophy.

The church is a community of those who have suffered loss, lived through it, and learned true compassion.

We have a sense of awe and mystery about this world and this enterprise of living.

Our church is where we hear music and sing it ourselves, where we serve one another and the world, and where the strands of our beliefs, our lives and hopes are in a cable strong enough to bear us across the valleys of pain, despair, grief, doubt and disillusionment.

Each has experienced these, or will. We learn from each, and for these reasons we come to this special place, infusing it with hope.

- W. Edward Harris, adapted

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In Memory of . . . William R. Jones (1933-2012)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Reverend Dr. William Ronald Jones died on July 13, 2012 at the age of 78.

Rev. Jones was born in Louisville, KY on July 17, 1933 to Henry and Lannie (Brogsdale) Jones. Rev. Jones attained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Howard University in 1955. He then went on to earn a Master of Divinity from Harvard University in 1958, and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Brown University in 1969.

Rev. Jones was ordained by the Unitarian Society of Wellesley Hills, MA on June 15, 1958. From 1958-1960, he was the Assistant Minister and Director of Religious Education at the First Unitarian Church in Providence, RI. From 1977-2012, he served as a community minister at Florida State University. Notably, he was a member of the UUA Board of Trustees from 1993-2000, and worked with the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) to develop resources for professional religious educators.

Rev. Jones authored articles regarding oppression and the church’s role in social change. His work has been the subject of a vast number of newspaper and journal articles as well as dissertations. In 1978, he co-edited Black Theology II, and in 1973, Beacon Press published Rev. Jones’ controversial piece, Is God A White Racist? A Preamble to Black Theology.

In his seminal work, Is God A White Racist?, Rev. Jones introduced the thesis for his life’s work:

It has often been said that asking the right question is as important as supplying the correct answer. Whether correct or incorrect, this generalization describes the purpose in the following pages. To paraphrase Kant’s admonition, my objective is to force the black theologians and their readers to pause a moment and, neglecting all that they have said and done, to reconsider their conclusions in the light of another question: Is God a white racist? My concern throughout is to illuminate the issues this pregnant question introduces into the arena of black theology and religion. The black theologian, I contend, cannot avoid this issue of divine racism, because it is implicit in his theological method, purpose, and content.

An internationally recognized and celebrated activist, scholar, philosopher, theologian, and educator, Rev. Jones dedicated his long career to the analysis and methods of oppression, and to working with others in their anti-oppression initiatives. A fundamental part of his work was the exploration of religious humanism and liberation theology.

Rev. Jones’ academic and professional endeavors were broad and vast. He helped found and became the Director of the Department of African-American Studies as Florida State University. He was also an associate professor at Yale Divinity School, a visiting lecturer at Howard University, and a visiting professor at Brown University, Princeton University, and Union Theological Seminary, among others. Some of his professional affiliations included the American Academy of Religion, the American Humanist Association, the American Philosophical Association, the Religious Education Association, the Society for the Study of Black Religion, the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics, and the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA).

Rev. Jones received a vast number of awards over the years including the Urban League Family of the Year Award (1963), the Richard Allen Award (1972), Yale’s A. Whitney Griswold Award (1974), the Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Scholar Award(1986), the Bragg Humanist of the Year Award (1989), the American Humanist Association Humanist of the Year (1992), the UUA’s Holmes Weatherly Award (1995), and the African American Culture and Philosophy Award (1996), to name just a few.

Rev. Jones is survived by his former wife of 35 years, Lauretta H. Jones; sons Jeffrey Jones, Esq. and Darrell Jones; brother, Cecil Jones; sister, Gilmer Jones Callender; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

A celebration of the life of the Rev. Dr. Jones will be held on August 19, 2012 at 2 p.m. at the Nancy Smith Fichter Theatre in Montgomery Hall at Florida State University, 130 Collegiate Loop, Tallahassee, FL 32306.

Notes of condolence may be sent to The Jones Family, 2410 Limerick Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32309.

The Rev. Dr. Jones is, perhaps, most lovingly remembered for a principle by which he lived: "You show your love through actions, not words alone.”

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In Memory of . . . Gaston M. Carrier (1920-2012)

Posted By Administration, Monday, July 16, 2012

The Ministries and Faith Development staff offers our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Dr. Gaston Marcel Carrier who died on June 20, 2012. He was 92 years old.

Rev. Carrier was born in Montréal, Québec, Canada on January 14, 1920 to Alfred and Adelina (LaPierre) Carrier. Rev. Carrier attained his Bachelor of Arts degree from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia in 1941. After studies in theology at the Montréal Divinity School and Emmanuel College, he received his B.D. from Meadville Theological School in 1947. He then went on to earn a Master of Education from the University of Bridgeport, CT in 1959, and a Master of Arts in French Literature from the University of Vermont in 1968. He received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School in 1973.

Rev. Carrier was ordained by the United Church of Canada in Montreal on September 10, 1943. In the early years of his ministry, he worked at Unitarian churches in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and Cohasset, MA. He then went on to work at the First Grace Universalist Church in Lowell, MA from 1952-1957; and the Universalist Congregation of Danbury, CT from 1957-1961. In 1961, he was called to the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington, VT. He stayed there until his retirement in 1978 when he was also voted Minister Emeritus of the church.

Rev. Carrier was active in the Civil Rights Movement and helped found Planned Parenthood in Burlington, VT. He was a member of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, the Community Council of Greater Burlington, the Burlington Council of Churches, and the Champlain Valley Clergy Association.

A true bibliophile, Rev. Carrier enjoyed adding to his library whenever possible. Throughout his long life, he pursued an abiding love of all things French Canadian including history, literature, language, culture and antiques. A writer, he published a book, Prayers, in 1971; and in 1973, he wrote and published a children’s story entitled Johnny Peanut.

Throughout his ministry (and in all these endeavors), Rev. Carrier was supported by his wife of 64 years, an active Unitarian-Universalist, Mary (Archibald) Carrier. Although Mary had a demanding full-time career of her own, she was the Director of Religious Education at both the Burlington and Danbury churches, and was tremendously active on committees and in the life of both churches, as well as in Lowell.She accompanied Rev. Carrier to General Assembly, and hosted "Thursday Night Suppers" for small groups of parishioners to encourage community and discussion, rotating through the entire congregation and then starting all over again.A true ministerial partner, she supported her husband’s ministry in extraordinary ways throughout his career and their lives together.

In a personal statement, Rev. Carrier once noted that he established his ministry "upon a foundation of personal dedication, utter sincerity, and rich inner resources of a kind and generous spirit.”

Rev. Carrier is survived by daughter, Michèle Carrier; daughter, Natalie Carrier and her husband, David Ackerman; daughter, Jill Carrier and her husband, David Duncan; daughter, Hilarie Terebessy and her husband, David Terebessy; grandchildren, Samuel and Sarah Duncan, and Matthew and Nina Terebessy; his brother, Jean-Paul Carrier; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife, Mary (Archibald) Carrier.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Rev. Carrier’s memory may be sent to the Committee on Temporary Shelter, P.O. Box 1616, Burlington, VT 05402.

A memorial service, overlooking Lake Champlain, will be held on Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 2 p.m. at Bishop Booth Conference Center, 20 Rock Point Circle, Burlington, VT, 05408.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Jill Carrier, 113 Ocean St., Dorchester, MA 02124.

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In Memory of . . . Nancy Morgan Shaffer (1950-2012)

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Reverend Nancy Morgan Shaffer died on June 5, 2012 after a year-long battle with cancer. She was 61 years old.

Rev. Shaffer was born in Modesto, CA on August 11, 1950 to Marjorie Ruth (Tallmon) and Lee Murphy Brooks. Rev. Shaffer attained her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California, Davis in 1973. She then went on to earn a Master of Science in School Counseling from California State University, Sacramento in 1977, and a Master of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry in 2004.

Rev. Shaffer was ordained at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis, MD on October 10, 2004. In that same year, she began her ministerial career as an Interim Master Religious Educator (MRE) at the UU Church of the Monterey Peninsula in Carmel, CA. She was then called to the UU Community Church of Glen Allen, VA from 2005-2007. She became the Interim Minister of Religious Education at the Unitarian Church of Evanston, IL from 2007-2008. She was called for the final time to the First UU Congregation of Ann Arbor, MI from 2008-2012.

Rev. Shaffer grew up in a small, agricultural town where many of Steinbeck's "Okies" had established small peach acreages and first-generation Portuguese immigrants worked tiny 20 - 30 cow dairies. She had the same set of four close friends throughout elementary and high school; loved a succession of guppies, guinea pigs, cats and dogs; enjoyed cooking and sewing; played piano, wrote poetry and was her high school yearbook editor.

The program insert for her memorial service read, "As a minister, Rev. Shaffer was known among her colleagues and congregants as a deeply spiritual person. Her work with children invited them gently into mystery and awe, especially through art and through original stories that presented possibility far more than conclusion."

Rev. Shaffer's writing led her down the path to ministry. The late Rev. Dr. Forrest Church once wrote, "Nancy's world is riddled with epiphanies, her kitchen table an altar set for communion, her anger pure, her sorrow sacramental. Nancy reaches my soul." A manual of her meditations, Instructions In Joy, was published by Skinner House in 2002. A volume of poetry and journal entries written throughout her year with cancer, entitled Large Enough Thanks: Ministry After a Brain Tumor, is expected to be published by Skinner House as well.

Rev. Shaffer is survived by her parents Marjorie and Lee Brooks; a brother, Michael Brooks; and an uncle, Robert Tallmon.

A memorial service was held on June 15, 2012 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis, CA.

Notes of condolence may be sent to her parents at 600 Edgebrook Court, Modesto, CA 95354. Notes may also be sent to the people of the UU Church in Davis who tended to Nancy with steadfast care in the final months of her life. Please send those notes c/o The Rev. Elizabeth Banks, UUCD, P.O. Box 73710, Davis, CA 95617.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the UUA Living Tradition Fund, P.O. Box 843154, Boston, MA 02284.

ALCHEMY from Instructions In Joy
by Nancy Shaffer

That distillation of soul-which,
of all possessions, is most precious-
comes, if we are faithful,
out of sorrow.

This is the gift with which we
escape, stumble out:
we know the essence of this life
and who we are.

Ever after, whatever we have,
we have enough: begin complete,
even with nothing, even though
aching. In our lifetime we learn this,
while still we can cherish. Come
complete to the end, and are full.

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