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In Loving Memory of James Wickman (1931-2019)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 18, 2020
We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. James “Jim” Allen Wickman who died on November 29, 2019, at the age of 88.

Jim was born on November 9, 1931 in Omaha, NE to James Augustus Wickman and Christine Elizabeth (Hardin) Wickman. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 1953, a Master of Business Administration in 1954, and PhD. in Business in 1961, all from the University of Washington. Jim worked at the University of Washington as an Associate Professor, teaching Social Responsibility of Business and Ethics in Business from 1956 to 1982. At the end of 1982, he opted for an early retirement from his teaching; in 1983, the University of Washington honored him as Professor Emeritus. Later in life, Jim discerned his call to ministry and earned his Master of Divinity from Northwest Theological Union, Seattle, WA in 1991.

Rev. Wickman was ordained on September 8, 1991 by the Shoreline Unitarian Church, Seattle, WA. Prior to his ordination, he interned at the Kitsap UU Fellowship, Bremerton, WA. After his ordination, he accepted a call from the Community UU Church, Pasco, WA and served for two years until 1994. Following his first settlement, Rev. Wickman was occasionally called upon for pulpit engagements. In 1999, he retired from active ministry.

Rev. Wickman served the Pacific Northwest District (PNWD) as President for two years, and a Board member for five years (1980-1985). He functioned as Registrar of the PNWD Unitarian Leadership School (1980-1987) and served the PNWD Leadership School Committee. Furthermore, he was founding member of Shoreline Unitarian Church, WA and Secretary of the UUMA Chapter.

Throughout his life, Jim continued teaching part time. He had several of his writings published including “Christmas Stories,” UU World, 1981; “Lighting the Candles of Christmas,” Christmas Eve Service, Worship Arts Clearing House, 1981; Christmas Stories, “REACH Christmas Collection, 1986. He was involved with the Habitat for Humanity group (in three cities: Pasco, Kennewick and Richland, WA) as a volunteer builder. In his spare time Jim enjoyed cabinetry, carpentry, photography and travel.

Jim is survived by his wife of 42 years, Janet L. Tyler; his children Shelley Weisberg, Jeff Wickman, and Cristy Wickman; his stepchildren Richard Ingham and Lori Bartosh; as well as his seven grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Church, 14724 1st Ave NE, Shoreline, WA 98155.
In remembrance of Jim, his family will be presenting and participating in “My Love Affair with the Mountains” a program of Jim’s photography, music and poetry (originally created by Jim for the initial Earth Day celebrations in Seattle, WA). The memorial program will likely be presented in the Seattle area.

Notes of condolences may be sent to Janet Tyler at 4009 Vista Place, Pasco, WA 99301.

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In Loving Memory of George Briggs (1930-2019)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 11, 2020
George was born on August 21, 1930 in Highland Park, IL to George Briggs and Evelyn Rist Briggs. He graduated from San Jose State College, CA in 1952 with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, following which he earned his Master of Theology from the Iliff School of Theology, CO in 1955. From 1955 to 1961, George served as a minister to several small Methodist churches in Oregon and Idaho. He then worked at the Alameda Co., Welfare Dept., Oakland, CA as a Social Worker (1961-1964), and as a Social Work Supervisor (1964-1968). From 1964 to 1968, he served the Universalist Church of Oakland, CA, part-time, assisting the minister. Later, in 1979, George graduated from Lamar University, TX with his Master of Arts in English.

Rev. Briggs was ordained in 1955 and welcomed into preliminary fellowship in 1968. Following his fellowship, he served his parish ministry at the UU Meeting House of Pittsfield, ME (1968-1973); and Spindletop Unitarian Church Incorporated, Beaumont, TX (1973-1982). In 1982, Rev. Briggs was called to the UU Church of Birmingham, AL where he would minister until 1990. Later in 1990, he accepted a call from the UU Congregation of Fort Lauderdale, Oakland Park, FL and served as an interim minister for a year. He then carried out a series of interim ministries at the following congregations: the UU Fellowship of Winston-Salem, NC (1991-1992); the UU Church of Canton, NY (1992-1993); The Community Church of Chapel Hill UU, NC (1993-1994); and the First Congregational Unitarian Church of Harvard, MA (1994-1995). In 1995, Rev. Briggs retired from active ministry. The UU Fellowship of Winston-Salem, NC honored him as their Minister Emeritus in 2000.

In addition to his parish and interim ministries, Rev. Briggs, carried out other vital services on behalf of the denomination. He functioned as President for the Southwest UU Minister Association; as a Program Director for the Southwest UU Summer Institute (1978); and as Ministerial Settlement Representative for the Southwest District UUA (1981-1982). He served on the Southwest UU District Board; and was Minister of the Week, at the “The Mountain” (1984).

Rev. Briggs provided his services as an Auxiliary Chaplain for the University of Alabama Hospitals (1982-1990) and as President for the Beaumont Ministers Association, TX. He was volunteer interviewer for the Crisis Control Ministry, Winston-Salem, NC (1991-1992, & 1995) and for the Interfaith Council for Social Service, Chapel Hill, NC (1993-1994).

In his spare time George greatly enjoyed reading, music, and attending concerts.

George is survived by his daughter Irma Polster and her husband Mark Polster; and his three grandsons, Aaron Polster, Julius Polster and Elliott Polster.

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In Loving Memory of Richard Kelley (1926-2020)

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, March 10, 2020
We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Richard W. Kelley, who died on Feb 8, 2020, at the age of 93.

Richard was born on August 2, 1926 in Rockford, IL to George M. Kelley and Vera N. Kelley. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science, following which he worked as a Chaplain’s Assistant at Council for Clinical Training of Minister, Napa State Mental Hospital, Imola, CA. In 1955, Richard earned his Bachelor of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry.

Rev. Kelley was ordained on May 24, 1956 by the Unitarian Church of Our Father, Newburgh, NY where he carried out his ministry from 1955 to 1959. In 1959, he was called to the UU Church of Little Rock, AR where he served until 1967. Later in 1967, Rev. Kelley accepted a call from the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos, NM and ministered for four years. Thereafter, he served for two decades at the Paint Branch UU Church, Adelphi, MD (1971-1991). On July 31, 1991, Rev. Kelley, retired from his active ministry; on September 1, 1991, the Paint Branch congregation honored him as their minister emeritus. After his retirement, from 1991 to 1994, Rev. Kelley served the UU Church of Hagerstown, MD as a consulting minister. Furthermore, he served the UU Fellowship of Southern Maryland, MD as a church administrator from 1996 to 2005, and as a newsletter editor from 2005 to 2007.

In addition to his parish ministry, Rev. Kelley served the Southwestern Unitarian Universalist Conference (SWUUC) Summer Institute as a Workshop Leader (1959-1960); as “Sunset” Speaker (1961); and as a Program Chairman (1962). He also served the board of the SWUUC (1962-1965), SWUUC Religious Education Committee (1962-1965) and SWUUC Executive Committee (1964-1965). Rev. Kelley was visiting minister to the Unitarian Fellowship of Alexandria, LA; and performed as a Secretary-Treasurer (1963-1964) and President (1964-1965) for the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association- Southwestern Chapter.

Richard passionately provided his services to the communities to which he belonged. He functioned as a board member for the Planned Parenthood Clinic, Newburgh, NY (1957 -1959) and served the Urban League of Greater Little Rock, AR under various positions: as a member (1960-1967), as a board Member (1960-1963), as First Vice President (1962-1963) and as an Acting President (1963). For the Arkansas Council for Human Relations, Richard served as a Member (1960-1967), as a Board Member (1961-1963) and served the Advisory Committee (1961-1964). In addition, he was a Special Instructor of Philosophy in the Religion Department of Little Rock University, AR (1965-1967); and he served on the board for the New Mexico Mental Health Association (1968-1969). In addition, Richard was an enlisted man of the United States Army. In his spare time, he enjoyed artwork generally, block printing, sculpture, creative writing, woodworking, camping, hiking and swimming.

Richard’s daughter Tina DeLaBriandais wrote: “Our father was a gentle and sensitive man who celebrated life, nature, love and the closeness of his family. He left behind him a long lifetime of found and cherished memories shared by many friends and family.”

Richard is survived by his wife Mary Ann Kelley; his children Susan, Tara and Tina; his ten grandchildren; and his seven great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Association or to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.

A memorial service was held at 3 pm on Sunday, March 15 at the Paint Branch UU Church, 3215 Power Mill Rd, Adelphi, MD 20783.

Notes of condolences may be sent to Mary Ann Kelley at 201 Dennis Ct, Oakley, CA 94561.

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In Loving Memory of Robert Schaibly (1942-2019)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, January 29, 2020
We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Robert “Bob” Lloyd Schaibly, who died on November 11, 2019, at the age of 77.

Bob was born on August 16, 1942 in Lansing, MI to R. L. Schaibly Sr. and Dorothy Strieter Donley. He graduated from Michigan State University in 1965 with a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, following which he worked as a Church Administrator at the First Unitarian Church of San Francisco, CA. In 1971, Bob earned his Master of Divinity from the Harvard Divinity School, MA.

Rev. Schaibly was welcomed into preliminary fellowship in 1971 and ordained on October 10, 1971, by the Beverly Unitarian Church of Chicago, IL, where he carried out his first ministry (1971-1979). From 1979 to 1982, he ministered at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Concord, NH. In 1982, Rev. Schaibly accepted a call from the First Unitarian Church of Houston, TX and served as a senior minister for two decades (1982-2002). Then in 2002, he retired from active ministry; upon his retirement the Houston congregation honored him as their Minister Emeritus. Thereafter, Rev. Schaibly served the UU Community Church of Washington County, OR (2005-2006) as an interim minister.

Outside of his ministry, Rev. Schaibly served on the Board of the Southwest District of UUA, Houston Area UU Ministers, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), UU Lesbian and Gay Concerns, Lake Geneva Summer Assembly Planning Council (1970s), the Emerson Centennial Celebration Committee and UU Historical Society. He was a member of the UUA Affirmative Action Task Force; President for the Southwest District UU Ministers Association; and a founder and chair of the New England Students for the UU Ministry. Furthermore, Rev. Schaibly was Theme Speaker at the Star Island, Life on a Star Family Week in 1983. Many of his sermons were published in UU World and Church of Larger Fellowship newsletter. Some of his published writings include: “Is There a Crisis in the Ministry?” Journal of the Liberal Ministry, vol. 12, no. 3; and “The Power of the Patient,” DAY magazine vol.3, no 2.

Beyond his parish ministry, Bob served as member of several community organizations including Child and Family Services of NH, the Emergency Aid Coalition (a food pantry program); Amnesty International, People for the American Way, and SEARCH (a day center for the homeless). He functioned as Board Member for Houston ALCU, AIDS Foundation of Houston, Lake Geneva Summer Assembly Planning Committee, and “Dialysis and You” magazine. Likewise, Bob was President for NH ACLU (1980-1982); community representative for the University of Houston Animal Research Committee; and Theme Speaker for the American Cancer Society of Texas. He chaired the Mental Health Council and an ecumenical Ministerial Fellowship. Bob studied Buddhism with the Zen leader Thich Nhat Hanh and was named a Dharma Teacher in the Order of Interbeing. Bob was co-founder of the Houston Zen Community.

Bob is survived by his husband, Steven R. Storla; his sister, Rebecca Davidson and her husband, John; his brothers, Ben Schaibly, Bill Schaibly and his wife, Cathy; and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Endowment Funds of the First UU Church of Houston, 5200 Fannin St. Houston, TX 77004; or the First Unitarian Church of Portland, 1034 SW 13th Ave. Portland, OR 97205. Memorial services have been held at both congregations.

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In Loving Memory of Barbara Burke (1934-2019)

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 26, 2019
We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Barbara D. Burke, who died on October 28, 2019, at the age of 85.

Barbara was born on January 7, 1934 in Oakland, CA to Warren Burke and Ellen Dunbar. She graduated from Eastern Washington University in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Education, following which she earned her Master of Public Administration from the Graduate School of Public Affairs, University of Washington in 1985. She then served the Edmonds Unitarian Church, WA as a student minister (1988) and the Unitarian Church, Rockford, IL as a summer minister (1988). Later in 1989, Barbara received her Master of Divinity from Northwest Theological Union, WA.

Rev. Burke was ordained on January 24, 1991, by the Northlake UU Church, Kirkland, WA where she carried out her parish ministry for eight years (1990-1998). In 1998, she accepted a call from the Community UU Church, Daytona Beach, FL and served there until 2000 as a New Congregation Minister. Rev. Burke then served Horizon UU Church, Carrollton, TX as a Program Minister from 2000 until 2003, and simultaneously as an Adult Religious Educator from 2002 to 2003. Later, on November 30, 2003, she retired from her active ministry.

Outside of her ministry, Rev. Burke carried out vital services to the denomination. She served as a worship leader for the UU Women’s Federal Biennial Conference (1991); and as a member for the Lambda Ministers Guild (1991), and the Pacific Northwest District (PNWD) Ministerial Transition Team. She functioned as a UU Delegate for the Washington State Interfaith Council (1991-1994); and chaired the Nominating Committee, PNWD Chapter, UU Ministers’ Association (1992-1995), and the Steering Committee of PNWD UU Rights Campaign (1994-1995). Furthermore, Rev. Burke performed as a President for the Puget Sound UU Council; Continuing Education Representative for the PNWD-UUMA (1995); and Worship Leader for the Service of Hope and Remembrance at the General Assembly 1995.

Throughout her life, Barbara was devoted to serving the community. She served the Board and Executive Committee of Kirkland Performance Center (1991); and the Advisory Board of B-GLAD, Youth Eastside Services (1991), and Green Grass Gatherings (1992-1994). She also fulfilled her services as Treasurer and Volunteer Chaplain for Evergreen Hospital Medical Center. Barbara was Draft Counselor for Seattle Draft and Military Counseling Center and a member of Humptulips, Ministerial Study Group (1991-1995). In 1996, she was featured on an hour-long ABC-TV Turning Point program: “For Better or Worse: Gay Marriage.”

After retirement from her ministry, Barbara continued her community service as a Spiritual Advisor at Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. In her spare time, she loved needlework, reading, hanging out with friends, and spending time with her family. Likewise, she enjoyed playing bridge, visiting museums, going to movies, dancing and traveling to foreign countries.

Barbara is survived by her sons Jesse McDonald, TJ McDonald and his wife Hisako Matsumoto; her sisters Elizabeth Merriman, and Nancy Bosch; her grandson Kisho McDonald; her granddaughters Lily McDonald, Georgia McDonald, and Ruby McDonald; her nieces Kate Merriman, Porter Merriman, Amy Taylor; her nephew Joe McCormick; her grandniece Elsabet Merriman; and her grandnephews Davis and Bentley Lanterman.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Path with Art, 312 2nd Ave South, Seattle, WA 98104.

A memorial service is being planned for February.

Notes of condolences may be sent to TJ McDonald at 312 N 82nd St, Seattle, WA 98103.

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In Loving Memory of Priscilla Murdock (1931-2019)

Posted By Administration, Monday, November 11, 2019

We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Priscilla “Peri” Murdock, who died on May 29, 2018, at the age of 86.

Priscilla was born in Cambridge, MA to William and Ethel (Murdock) Traunstein. She graduated from Suffolk University, MA, in 1954, with a Bachelor of Arts in English and History, following which she worked as a newspaper reporter, feature writer, and catalogued manuscripts at the Huntington Library. In 1962, Priscilla joined the Peace Corps and went to Manizales, Colombia where she lived with a family and increased her Spanish speaking fluency. She then received her Master of Arts in English American Literature in 1966, from Ohio Wesleyan University, before following her call to ministry. In 1985, Priscilla earned her Master of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School, MA.

Rev. Murdock was ordained by the UU Church of Wakefield, MA on June 9, 1985, and carried out her first ministry at the UU Meeting House of Pittsfield, ME from 1985 to 1990. In 1991, she accepted a call from the UU Church in Reston, VA where she served as an interim minister until 1992. Then over a decade and half, Rev. Murdock served in a series of parish ministries at the following congregations: First Unitarian Church, Cincinnati, OH (1992-1997); UU Church of Stockton Illinois, IL (1997-2003); and finally, at the St Paul’s Church of Palmer, MA (2003-2008). On August 31, 2008, Rev. Murdock retired from active ministry.

Outside her ministry, Rev. Murdock taught UU Polity at Bangor Seminary, ME for a year (1987). She was ministerial representative for the Central Midwest Religious Education Committee (1997-2001); Secretary-Treasurer (1997-2002) for the Stockton Ministerial Association; and director for the Midwest UU Conference (1998).

Rev. Murdock also provided her services to several community organizations. She served as a member of the Palmer Rotary Club, Stockton Women’s Club; as a board member for Sojourn House (a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility) (1998-2002); and was on the Ethics Committee of Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati (1993-1997). Furthermore, Peri taught Spanish at Wakefield High School, MA, and English and Spanish at international schools in Brussels and in Lahore, Pakistan. In her spare time, she enjoyed drama, music, reading, history and travel. She traveled extensively, to nearly fifty countries on five continents.

Peri’s friend Rev. Dr. Nina D. Grey, remembers:

“While serving in Keene UU Church, NH, I would sometimes on my days off visit Andover Newton Theological School just to get out of town! So, I would see Peri sometimes on those visits. I was blessed to be able to take two trips with her over the years, a bus tour after a Spokane GA to Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver British Columbia while I was in Keene; and a car trip to Nova Scotia while I was at Germantown in Philly. These were a long time ago! Peri’s decision to continue serving until she was 75, I believe, inspired me to do likewise!”

Peri is survived by her nieces, Leslie Garner and Debra Gerlach; her nephew, Russ Traunstein; many of her grand-nieces, nephews and cousins; and UUA Communities and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, William and Ethel (Murdock) Traunstein, and her brothers.

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In Loving Memory of Hugo Hollerorth (1925-2019)

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 5, 2019
We our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Dr. Hugo “Holly” J. Hollerorth, who died on September 22, 2019, at the age of 94.

Hugo was born on June 6, 1925 in Jefferson City, MO to Hugo John and Rose Johannah. He graduated from Northwestern University, IL in 1946 with a Bachelor of Science in business, following which he received his two degrees - a Bachelor of Divinity in 1949, and a Master of Arts in 1965, both from the University of Chicago, IL. In 1985, Hugo earned his Doctor of Education (EdD) from New York University. Later in 2005, Meadville Lombard Theological School awarded him an honorary Doctor of Divinity.

Rev. Dr. Hollerorth was ordained in 1949. He served as a Minister of Education at the Central Unitarian Church of Paramus, NJ, from 1959 to 1961; and as an Associate Professor of Religious Education at St. Lawrence School (Universalist), Canton, NY, from 1961 to 1965. Then in 1965, he joined the UUA as the Director of Curriculum Development, where he served until 1980. During this tenure, Rev. Dr. Hollerorth developed educational programs for children, youth and adults for use in Unitarian Universalist churches and fellowships across the continent. He oversaw the work of development teams and authors, field testing programs prior to publication, editorial work, interpreting programs to local societies, and training teachers in their use.

Rev. Dr. Hollerorth believed that the existing curricula did not “address the human situation within which children and youth will be and are living,” and launched a new curriculum series based on the discovery learning method. He wrote that this method was “grounded in the conviction that the most effective learning occurs when children have an opportunity to intuit principles for themselves from concrete experiences in their daily lives.” To aid with the discovery learning process, the curriculum “kits,” included visuals, books, filmstrips, audiotapes, puzzles, illustrations, games, music, and other materials and strategies to bring the curricula alive for children and youth with diverse learning styles. The kits whose development he oversaw included Decision Making (1968), Man the Meaning Maker (1969), Man the Culture Builder (1971), Human Heritage (1972), Person to Person Communication (1972), The Adventures of God’s Folk (1974), and Haunting House (1974, written by his wife, Barbara Hollerorth). Rev. Dr. Hollerorth was author of Freedom and Responsibility (1969); and co-author of Our Experiencing, Believing, and Celebrating (1979). The curriculum vision was to enable children and youth to, in his words, “evolve a life-enhancing orientation to the world.”

In the late 1960s, Rev. Dr. Hollerorth shepherded the creation and publication of About Your Sexuality (AYS), a sexuality education curriculum kit by Deryck Calderwood for junior high youth (grades 7 and 8). Created in response to requests from parents and religious educators for materials that would help young people navigate this area against the backdrop of the sexual revolution of the 1960s, AYS included topics which other secular curricula did not. In the curriculum description, Hollerorth wrote: “Employing the full range of human knowledge about human sexuality; creative interaction with each other in a relationship of freedom, love, sensitivity, and so on; and diversity of thought, young people attempt to evolve a life-enhancing orientation to their sexuality.” About Your Sexuality, revised and supplemented over the years, remained in print until it was replaced by Our Whole Lives. The AYS curriculum laid the groundwork for what is a vital piece of Unitarian Universalist faith development to this day.

For their contribution to Unitarian Universalist religious education, Hugo and Barbara received the Angus H. MacLean Award for Excellence in Religious Education at the 1976 UUA General Assembly in Claremont, CA.

In addition to his ministry, Hugo belonged to several community organizations. From 1975 to 1980, he performed as a workshop leader in human sexuality for Boston Family Service and several private secondary schools. He was a member of the HEW Federal Government Task Force on Education for Human Sexuality (1977); volunteer (1977-1978) and a Chairperson (1979) for the University of Chicago Alumni Fund, Greater Boston Area. Furthermore, he functioned as a Health Curriculum Specialist at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, MA. Beginning in the 1990’s, Hugo was involved with the Southern Middlesex Opportunity Council. He first served on the staff, then after retiring, he served on the Board. While on the Board he wrote “Building a Culture of Care: The Ongoing Saga of the South Middlesex Opportunity Council”, which looks at the origins, history and evolution of the organization. Hugo served the military and was an honorable discharge recipient. In his spare time, Hugo enjoyed travel, home decorating, biking, politics, and films.

After Hugo’s passing, Mr. Barb Greve, UUA Co-Moderator and a religious educator, wrote of him:
“Holly (as he preferred to be called) was a dear friend and a mentor. I grew up in the congregation he chose as his religious home (First Parish in Framingham, MA). Holly was a shy and quiet person, though in the right setting he would open up like a beautiful flower. This past summer I had the great delight to spend some time with him after services at church. He reflected on the nearing end of his own life and his amazement at how much his body and abilities were changing. His mind was quick as ever. He shared his joy and pride at helping bring AYS into being and loved that OWL was a progressive extension of that work. He marveled at how much had changed in his lifetime and how much had stayed the same. He was a dedicated steward of our faith and will be sorely missed by many.”

Hugo is survived by his daughter Rachel Buerlen; and his grandchildren Holly Buerlen, Jason Buerlen, and Nicole Hunter, and his great grandchildren Kairi and Dominic.

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In Loving Memory of Christine M Wetzel (1928-2019)

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 5, 2019
We our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Dr. Christine “Chris” M. Wetzel, who died on October 14, 2019, at the age of 91.

Chris was born on May 6, 1928 in Auburn, ME to Chester A. McKenney and H. Christine Dearing. She graduated from St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY in 1950 with a Bachelor of Arts in Greek and Religious Education, following which she earned her Certification of Religious Education from St. Lawrence Theological School in 1951. Later in 1992, Chris received her Doctor of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School.

Rev. Dr. Wetzel was ordained on May 6, 1979 by the North Shore Unitarian Society, Plandome, NY (now UU Congregation of Shelter Rock). Prior to her ordination, she served the First UU Church, Claremont, NH, as a Director of Religious Education (DRE) (1956-1958). She then served her parish ministry at Murray UU Church, MA (1959-1970) and the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock, NY as a Minister of Religious Education (1971-1992). On August 31, 1992, Rev. Wetzel retired from her ministry, and upon her retirement the Shelter Rock congregation honored her as their Minister Emeritus.

Rev. Dr. Wetzel performed an array of services to the denomination. She served on the Advisory Board for the Universalist Heritage Foundation; was a Charter member of the UUA Accreditation Committee of Religious Educators, UUA Panel on Theological Education and UUA CEPEL (a commission on grant giving for the Theological Schools). Furthermore, she functioned as a faculty for the Meadville Lombard summer schools and for the Star Island RE weeks.

In addition to her denominational service, Chris was a member of several community organizations including Planned Parenthood, the League of Women Voters, the Association of University Women and the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

In her spare time, Chris loved traveling, mainly to Greek Islands. She also enjoyed studying abroad and attended St. George’s College in Jerusalem, Manchester College in Oxford, England and several summer schools at Starr King and Meadville Lombard.

Chris is survived by her two sons Peter Wetzel, Dr. Gayle D. Wetzel and his wife Esther Spirgi Wetzel; her sister Pearl McKenney Silvernale; and her three grandchildren Benjamin Wetzel, Sabine Wetzel and Niels Wetzel.

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In Loving Memory of Gene Reeves (1933-2019)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 23, 2019

We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Dr. Gene A. Reeves, who died on May 8, 2019, at the age of 86.

Gene was born on April 2, 1933, in Franklin, NH to Eugene V. Reeves and Parmelie T. Reeves. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire, NH in 1956 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, following which he earned his Bachelor of Sacred Theology from Boston University, MA in 1959. He then received his PhD in Philosophy of Religion, from Emory University, GA in 1963. In 2014, Meadville Lombard Theological School, IL awarded him an honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity.

Rev. Dr. Reeves was ordained on November 19, 1961, by The United Liberal Church in Atlanta, GA (now the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta). In 1962, he was called to the Crane Theological School of Tufts University, MA where he served as a Professor until 1967. From 1969 to 1979, Rev. Dr. Reeves fulfilled his Parish ministry at the First Unitarian Church, Dayton, OH, and then served the Meadville Lombard Theological School, IL for nine years as a Dean and Chief Executive Officer (1979-1988). Later, the Meadville Lombard Theological School honored him as Professor Emeritus.

During his service to the denomination, Rev. Dr. Reeves served as a Chairman of the Committee of the Crane Conference on the Ministry at Tufts University (1964). He was also a strong advocate of the civil rights causes and anti-war movements of the 60s and 70s. Dr. Reeves was one of the clergy men who answered Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s call to Selma, AL in 1965.

In addition to his ministry, Gene belonged to several community organizations. He served as a consultant to the Niwano Peace Foundation and functioned as chair of the planning committee for the 1987 Congress of International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF) at Stanford University. He was founder of the International Buddhist Congregation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, and a founding member of the Council for a Parliament of the World Religions. He also served as an advisor to the Risshō Kōsei, a Japanese new religious movement founded in 1938. Furthermore, Gene authored many articles in scholarly journals; co-edited the Process Philosophy and Christian Thought; edited A Buddhist Kaleidoscope: Essays on the Lotus Sutra; and translated The Lotus Sutra: A Contemporary Translation of a Buddhist Classic. He did extensive research on contemporary Chinese Buddhism and spoke about Buddhism and the Lotus Sutra in Japan, Korea, China, Singapore and the United States.

Throughout his life, Gene taught at various Universities in the United States, China and Japan. He was the Director of Planning and Institutional Research, and assistant to the President at Wilberforce University, OH; Professorial Lecturer at the University of Chicago Divinity School, IL; and taught at the Antioch College, OH; the University of Tsukuba in Japan, and the Renmin University of China. In his spare time, he enjoyed reading, art, nature, birds, golf, photography, electronics, auto repair and carpentry.

For those congregations who struggled to broaden their outlook, Rev. Reeves highlighted: “Make your tent larger. Like those Jews in their Babylonian captivity, I believe we are called today, each one of us is called, to make our tents larger, to move beyond our own tribalism, our racial and ethnic and national and class smallness, and let our vision of human wholeness become a basis for a more genuine community, a model of what can be.”

Gene is survived by his wife Yayoi Reeves; his daughters Rev. Eva Cameron (UU Minister) and Anna Kerr; his step-son Takuro Sato (Machiko Sato); his sister Joyce Reeves; his five grandchildren Peter Hochgraf, Irene Hochgraf Cameron, Kayleigh Kerr, Ella Kerr, and Momo Sato; as well as his two nephews and two nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents; his former wife Joan Reeves; and his brother Richard Reeves.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of one’s own choosing, as well as to the Meadville Lombard Theological School, 610 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605.

A celebration of Gene’s life was held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at the First Unitarian Church of Chicago, 5650 S. Woodlawn Ave., Chicago, IL 60637.

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In Loving Memory of Dennis Kuby (1934-2019)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 9, 2019

We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Dennis G. Kuby, who died on April 23, 2019, at the age of 84.

Dennis was born on June 1, 1934 in Cleveland, OH. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Bethany College, WV in 1957, following which he received his theological training from the Oxford University in England (1960-1961). In 1962, Dennis graduated from the St. Lawrence University, NY with a Bachelor of Divinity.

Dennis was ordained on December 16, 1962 by the UU Society of Cleveland, OH where he served for five years (1962-1967). In 1967, Rev. Kuby accepted a call from Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA and functioned as a Vice-President (1967-1969). He then returned to parish ministry at the UU Church of Studio City, CA (1969-1971). In 1973, Dennis was granted preliminary fellowship for Specialized Ministry in Ecology.

Rev. Kuby’s services on behalf of the denomination were remarkable. He was President for the Ohio-Meadville District of Unitarian Universalist Ministers, and secretary for the UUA Ministers Co-op. He was the Executive Director for the Ministry of Ecology Inc, CA for over four decades (1974-2019); and served the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, Inc.; the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, and the Berkeley Unitarian Fellowship.

Throughout his life Rev. Kuby was noted for his work on promotion of environmental theology, ecological system of ethics, and ecological liturgy. He performed ecological worship services at various churches in the Bay Area and his sermons urged development of more public transportation, replacing cars with bicycles and making ecologically sound values and lifestyles. He conducted workshops and seminars on ecology and religion and suggested ideas for environmental resource problems. He assisted churches in planning model environmental projects and appeared on various television and radio programs discussing a moral response to the energy crisis.

Furthermore, Rev. Kuby served on the board for the Americans For Democratic Action, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the National Committee for Civic Responsibility. He was President for the Bay Area Hemlock Society (later The Socrates Death Acceptance Fellowship); head of the Hemlock Society of California and chair for the Clevelanders for Constitutional Freedom. Dennis frequently contributed to the UU journals and publications, the New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor. Many of his sermons were printed in the Los Angeles Times and the San Fernando Valley News. His article Ecology Is Religion was published by the UU World.

In his spare time, Dennis enjoyed studying and mastering French cooking, he appreciated Opera (Puccini was a favorite), Duplicate Bridge, tennis and yoga. Before his ministerial journey, he served the United States Marine Corps Reserve for two years (1955-1957) and was an honorary discharge recipient.

Dennis’s son Scott shared these lines about his father: “He preferred to be remembered as a Unitarian minister committed to the philosophy of Universalism - that what truly connects and unites us is our common humanity. Three books that shaped and influenced his life were: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius; How to Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie; and The Saviors of God by Nikos Kazantzakis.”

Dennis is survived by his wife Jeanne Kuby and his son Paul “Scott” Kuby.

Memorial donations may be made to the charity of one’s own choosing.

Rev. Kuby had a pre-planned memorial service attended by friends and family on his 60th birthday in Bratenahl, OH. Another memorial service will not be held.

Notes of condolences may be sent to Jeanne Kuby or Scott Kuby, at 1250 Queens Rd, Berkeley, CA 94708.

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