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In loving memory of David B. Parke (1928-2020)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 15, 2020

We offer our condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of the Rev. Dr. David B. Parke, who died on June 6, 2020, at the age of 91.

 

David was born on September 25, 1928 in Buffalo, NY to Robert Parke and Mary Boynton Parke. He graduated from Antioch College, OH with a Bachelor of Arts in History in 1952, following which he received his Bachelor of Divinity from the Meadville Lombard Theological School, IL in 1955. From 1960 to 1965, David worked as a Professor of Church History at the Theological School of St. Lawrence University, NY and as a visiting lecturer for the Crane Theological School of Tufts University from 1962 to 1963. Later, in 1965, he earned his Ph.D. in American Church History from Boston University, MA. His doctoral dissertation was titled The Historical and Religious Antecedents of the New Beacon Series in Religious Education and was published in 2009 by Meadville Lombard Press under the title The Children Were My Teachers: The Revolution in Religious Education.

 

Rev. Dr. Parke was ordained by the Unitarian Church of Peterborough, NH on February 12, 1956, where he carried out his ministry for five years (1955-1960). Prior to his ordination, he served as a student minister at the Abraham Lincoln UU Congregation, IL (1954-1955). Following his ministry at the Peterborough congregation, he was called to serve the Unitarian Society of Germantown, PA (1965-1971). From 1972 to 1973, he served in interim ministry at the First Parish UU Church, Scituate, MA and then, from 1973 to 1974, at the UU Church of Reading, MA. Soon after, in 1974, Rev. Dr. Parke accepted a call from the First Parish Brewster UU, MA where he ministered for six years (1974-1980).

 

As a part of ministry, Rev. Dr. Parke was editor for the UU World from 1981 to 1987; he planned and created each issue of the periodical as well as wrote articles and editorials. Succeeding his editorial calling, he accepted interim ministry opportunities at four UU congregations: the First UU Society of Exeter, NH (1988-1990); the UU Congregation in Andover, MA (1990-1992); Follen Church, Lexington, MA (1992-1993); and the UU Church of Montreal, Canada (1993-1995). After these interim ministries, he served as a settled minister at the UU Church of Spokane (1995-1996). Afterward, Rev. Dr. Parke was again drawn to interim ministry and ministered at the First Unitarian Society of Ithaca, NY (1996-1997); the Emerson UU Church of Houston, TX (1997-1999); the First UU Church of Richmond, VA (1999-2000); the First Unitarian Church, Louisville, KY (2001-2002); the UU Church of South Hills, PA (2002-2003); West Shore UU Congregation, Ludington, MI (2003-2004); and the First UU Church, Detroit, MI (2004-2005), until his retirement on August 14, 2005.

 

On behalf of the denomination, Rev. Dr. Parke was continental President of American Unitarian Youth (1947-1948), and ex officio member of the Board of Directors of the American Unitarian Association. He was editor of The Epic of Unitarianism, a documentary history (Beacon Press, 1957; paperback 1960; new edition 1992); and The Right Time: The Best of Kairos (UUA, 1982). The Unitarian Universalist Christian dedicated an issue to his writings entitled Naming the Holy: Selected Writings of David B. Parke (Vol. 59, 2004). Furthermore, he contributed a chapter to A Stream of Light: A Short History of American Unitarianism (UUA, 1975). He was trustee for the Meadville Lombard Theological School and served on the Steering Committee of the UUA Interim Ministry Program for three years (1996-1999). He provided his service as a member of several UU denominations, some of which include the UU Ministers Association; the UU Service Committee; the UU Historical Society; the UU Partner Church Council; the UU Christian Fellowship; and the UU Women’s Heritage Society.

 

In addition to his interim and parish ministries, and his denominational work, Rev. Dr.  Parke belonged to several community organizations. He was Deputy Director of Onboard Inc. Community Action Agency, MA (1972-1974); and trustee of Antioch College, OH (1970-1976) and the James Luther Adams Foundation (1978-1980 and 2005-2020). He served the Interim Ministry Network, the Gamaliel National Clergy Caucus, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Oxfam, The Nature Conservancy, Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania, Doctors Without Borders, and WQED-Pittsburg. In Pittsburgh, he served on the Board for the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN) and was a member of its Economic Equity Task Force. David was one of the two original chairs of Full Recognition and Funding of the Black Affairs Council (FULLBAC), established in 1968 in Philadelphia as an independent, continent-wide, white group to support the BAC and advance the cause of black empowerment.

 

In his spare time, David enjoyed walking, hiking, swimming, singing, movies, classical music and visiting his far-flung family during holidays and summer vacation. He travelled to many countries, including Israel, Italy, Hungary, Germany, Czech Republic, Romania, Austria, Scotland, Great Britain, Greece, Spain, France, the Netherlands, and Chile.

David is survived by his four sons: Richard, John (wife Brett Warren), Edward (wife Dawn Walnut), and William (wife Elizabeth); his two daughters: Robin Melavalin (wife Diane Hammer); and Alison Melavalin; his eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren; his brother Andrew; as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his older brother Robert Parke Jr.

 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the NAACP, 4805 Mt. Hope Drive, Baltimore, MD 21215.

 

A memorial service will be held at a later date. Interment was at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, NY.

 

Notes of condolence may be sent to John Parke at PO Box 51, Yarmouth Port, MA 02675 or may be left here.

 

Please also see the Unitarian Universalist Retired Ministers and Partners Association. 

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In loving memory of Leslie D. Tawnamaia (1955-2020)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 15, 2020

We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Leslie “Laelia” D. Tawnamaia, who died on May 29, 2020, at the age of 65.

 

Laelia was born on January 10, 1955 in Berwyn, IL to Robert Lee Rucker and Charlene (Pauquette) Rucker. In 1986, she graduated from Lesley University, Cambridge, MA with a Bachelor of Science in Human Service. Following graduation, Laelia’s career included working in different settings, being self-employed for a time in a bookstore, gem, and jewelry store that she and her partner opened and managed, retail management, personal attendant care, administration/bookkeeping and working as a financial administrator for a small physician’s office. Later in 2011, she received her Master of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School, IL. 

 

Laelia served as an intern minister at the First Universalist Unitarian Church of Wausau, WI (Fall 2010-Spring 2011). She was granted preliminary fellowship in 2012, and ordained on August 18, 2013 by two congregations: The Universalist Unitarian Congregation of St. Johnsbury (UUCStJ), VT and the Washington, Vermont UU Congregation, VT.

 

Rev. Tawnamaia served the UUCStJ under various positions: Worship Committee Chair and Worship Leader (2001-2009, 2009-2011); Buddha Dharma Study and Practice Group Facilitator (2002-2008); Board Clerk (2002-2004); Board Trustee (2003-2006); Finance Committee Member (2003-2007); Finance Committee Chair (2004-2008); RE Committee Member (2005); Bylaws Revision Taskforce (2005-2006); and as an Endowment Trustee (2005-2008). For the First Universalist Unitarian Church of Wausau, WI, she taught three sessions of RE classes on mental stress on health for 7 to 9 graders (2011). Furthermore, Rev. Tawnamaia regularly participated in the UUMA cluster meeting of Central Vermont (2011). Before and after serving the Wausau congregation, she led services around VT, from Bennington in the south to Derby Line on the Canadian border and many in between.  Her sermons and services focused on Hiroshima, Doctrine of Discovery, animal rights and AIDS memorial. From 2011 to 2012, Rev. Tawnamaia served as a project collaborator and website coordinator for the Peace and Unity Bridge (PUB): Cultivating and Understanding Friendship among Non-Muslims and Muslims (a project of Washington, Vermont UU Church). 

 

Rev. Tawnamaia also volunteered for many community activities. She was co-founder of the Women’s Earth Centered Spirituality Practice Group(1980’s); and chaplain volunteer for the Fletcher Allen Hospital, VT (2003-2004). She served as an assistant for the Body Mind Research Classes at the Brookline High School, MA.

 

Laelia loved the music shared at UU services, including her own. It reminded her of growing up with her parent’s choir performances of Handel's Messiah and other sacred pieces, and it was a rich way to bolster the sense of community she felt music engendered.  She enjoyed gardening, reading, Reiki, mostly vegetarian and whole food nutrition, listening to music, singing/dancing, developmental psychology, yoga, journaling, women’s studies, rock/mineral/gemstone/crystal collecting, stone bead jewelry crafting, and herbology. Laelia's other interests, included walking in nature especially with her beloved canine companions whom she gave a home to over the course of her life.  She was an eco-feminist living a simple lifestyle with strong interest in sustainability and developing a green version of habitat.

 

Laelia learned later in life (1990's) that her father was among the first American troops sent into Nagasaki after they were bombed.  It helped her understand her father's distance, and her lifelong compromised immune system.

 

Laelia is survived by her husband Greg; her brother Brian and his wife Linda; her aunt Donna Didier; as well as many of her cousins and friends.

 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the local animal welfare organization of one’s own choosing.

 

Her burial was private.

 

Notes of condolences may be sent to the family care of Guare & Sons Funeral Home at 30 School Street, Montpelier, VT 05602, or message may be left  here

 

Information may also be found at the Unitarian Universalist Retired Ministers and Partners Association.  

 

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In loving memory of Gertrude V. Lindener-Stawski (1931-2020)

Posted By Administration, Friday, July 10, 2020

We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Gertrude V. Lindener-Stawski, who died on June 12, 2020, at the age of 89.

 

Gertrude was born on April 4, 1931 in Racine, WI to Wilhelm Vutz and Mathilde Vutz. In 1952, she earned her Bachelor of Music in Piano from Oberlin College, OH following which she performed secretarial work at Case Institute of Technology, Cleveland, OH (1952-1953). She then worked as a piano teacher in Pointe Claire, Quebec, Canada from 1953 to1965. During that time in Pointe Claire, she became very involved with the Lakeshore Unitarian Church where she played piano for the Sunday morning servicesLater in 1968, Gertrude graduated from Crane Theological School, MA with her Master of Divinity. 

 

Rev. Lindener-Stawski was ordained by the United Church of Bethel, VT on October 27, 1968 where she carried out her first ministry from 1968 to 1973. From 1973 to 1980, she served as Minister of Education at the First Unitarian Society of Madison, WI; followed by the UU Church, Columbia, MO (1980-1986), and retiring on November 19, 1990. On April 30, 2006, for her service to the congregation, the UU Church of Columbia, MO bestowed honor to Rev. Lindener-Stawski by naming her their Minister Emeritus. Rev. Lindener-Stawski was the first called minister of the Columbia Fellowship.

 

In addition to her parish ministry, Rev. Lindener-Stawski served various denominational boards and committees. She was President of the Central Midwest Chapter, UUMA (1975-1976); and Worship and workshop leader for the UUWF Allerton Conference (June 1976). She served as a workshop leader for the Central Midwest District Meetings (Nov. 1978) and as President/Coordinator for the UU Ministerial Sisterhood (1978).

 

Rev. Lindener-Stawski also provided her services to several community organizations. She was chairman of the Student-Faculty Evaluation Committee at the Crane Theological School, MA (1966-1967). She served the Somerville Committee of Racial Understanding, MA (1966-1968); Gifford Memorial Hospital Board of Corporators, VT (1969-1973); University Religious Workers, Madison, WI; and Madison Westside Clergy Group. Furthermore, she was advisor to the community’s non-denominational youth group in Bethel, VT and did advisory work for the Bethel Community Action Program, VT (1971-1973). She had several of her writings published, some of which include: “Powder in the Pulpit”, The Unitarian Christian, Spring 1968; “Mother and Minister in a Community Church”, The Bridge, October 1970; “What is distinctive…”, Kairos, Autumn 1976and The New Awakening As Narcissism”, a paper for the Prairie GroupNovember 1977.

 

In her spare time, Gertrude enjoyed playing the piano. She was a passionate gardener, growing vegetables and flowers. She loved growing orchids and flowering cacti, sang in community choirs, and impressed her friends with her adventurous cooking.

 

Gertrude is survived by her daughter Margo Lindener, son Peter Lindener, and stepdaughter Nina Stawski.

 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Avenue, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10001.

 

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

 

Notes of condolences may be sent to Margo Lindener at: 5908 Pine Hill Crescent, Halifax, NS Canada B3H 1E5.

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In Loving Memory of Richard Woodman (1930-2020)

Posted By Administration, Friday, June 26, 2020
Updated: Thursday, June 25, 2020
We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Richard M. Woodman, who died on May 30, 2020, at the age of 90.

Richard was born on April 20, 1930 in Biddeford, ME to Lloyd G. and Edna R. (Ramberg) Woodman. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Religion in 1952, and Bachelor of Divinity in 1954, both from the St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY.

Rev. Woodman was ordained by the First Universalist Church, Binghamton, NY (now the UU Congregation of Binghamton, NY) on November 28, 1954 where he carried out his ministry from 1954 to 1963. Later in 1963, he accepted a call from the UU Church of Tampa, FL and ministered there for five years. He then served in parish ministries at the UU Congregation in Andover, MA (1968-1973) and the UU Church of Reading, MA (1973-1983). Ever since 1983, Rev. Woodman was drawn to interim ministry and served as an interim minister at the following congregations: Davies UU Congregation, MD (1983-1984); Murray UU Church, MA (1984-1985); Beacon UU Congregation in Summit, NJ (1985-1987); the UU Church of Manchester, NH (1987-1988); the UU Congregation of Binghamton, NY (1988-1989); All Souls UU Church, NY (1989-1990); the UU Society of Greater Springfield, MA (1990-1992); the First Congregational Society Unitarian, Chelmsford, MA (1992-1993); and the UU Society of Bangor, ME (1994-1995). On June 1, 1996, he retired from his ministry.

On behalf of the denomination, Rev. Woodman was National Vice President for the Universalist Youth Fellowship (1951-1952); and an assistant manager (1954) and manager (1955-1960) for the NY State Convention of Universalist, Unirondack. He served the UUA Fellowship Committee (1961-1963) and the UCA-AUA Commission on Federal Union. For the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, he functioned as a National Vice President (1961-1963) and as a treasurer (1965-1967). He also was treasurer for the Universalist Historical Society (1969-1975) and a counselor to the UU students at Harvard Divinity School (1974-1980). Furthermore, Rev. Woodman provided his services to the General Assembly Planning Committee (1975-1983) and chaired the committee (1979-1981). He was treasurer of the Unitarian Universalist Historical Society (1979-1985) and member of the UU Pastoral Counseling Service Board (1981-1983).

In addition to his denominational work, Richard was affiliated with several community organizations. He was board member of the Planned Parenthood Center, Binghamton, NY (1958-1963) and the Family Service Association of America, NY (Public Issues Committee of Nat’l Organization, 1962-1964). In Tampa, FL he served the Human Relations Council (1963-1968); Tampa Urban League Board (1964-1968); NAACP Board (1964-1968); ACLU Chapter (1965-1968); Mental Health Association Board (1964-1968); United Cerebral Palsy Center Board (1963-1968); and the Tampa Memorial Society (1965-1968). Likewise, in Andover, MA, he passionately rendered his services to the Teen-Adult Coordinating Council (1970-1973); Advisory Council of the Greater Lawrence Ecumenical Area Ministry (1971-1974); Andover Peace Action Council (1969-1974); and the 5th Congregational District Citizens Caucus (1972). Similarly, in Reading, MA he served the Reading Clergy Association (1973-1983); and Reading Antiquarian Society (1975-1983).

In his spare time, Richard liked stamp collecting, carpentry, woodworking (furniture making and refinishing), gardening, campaigning, and home computers. He enjoyed history, genealogy, storytelling and jokes, and immensely loved his Boston Terriers: Snuffy and PandD.

Richard is survived by his son Douglas L. Woodman (Kathy); his daughters, Linda (Avram), and Marilyn Woodman (Raphael Hartzog); his step-daughter Janet Rosado (Darrell Wheeler), and step son Jeff Rosado (Caramia); his ten grandchildren, and five great-granddaughters; his sisters, Marjorie Miller, and Joan Bishop; as well as his several cousins, nephews and great nieces. He was predeceased by his wife Pauline Rosado Woodman, and by the mother of his children, Margaret Blair Woodman.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to VNA/hospice of Cooley Dickinson Hospital, PO Box 329, Northampton, MA 01061-0329.
A private gathering will be held later.

Notes of condolences may be sent to Marilyn Woodman at mjwoodman@comcast.net.

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In Loving Memory of George C.D Tollefson (1931-2020)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, June 25, 2020
We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. George “Pete” C. B. Tolleson, who died on May 1, 2020, at the age of 88.

Pete was born on June 4, 1931 in Greensboro, NC to Louis Cree Tolleson and Mariel Buquo Tolleson. He graduated from Duke University, NC in 1953 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Anthropology, following which he served the army as a bandsman for two years (1954-1956) at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. In 1958, he received a Certificate in Occupational Therapy from Richmond Professional Institute, VA. Pete then worked as an Occupational Therapist at Greenville General Hospital, SC (1958-1960) and as a part- time Research Technician at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center (1962-1964) before discerning his call to ministry. In 1964, he earned his Master of Divinity from the Starr King School of Ministry, CA.

Rev. Tolleson entered preliminary fellowship in 1963. He was ordained by the Unitarian Church at Charleston, SC on November 15, 1964 where he carried out his first ministry from 1964 to 1969. Later in 1969, he accepted a call from the UU Church of Arlington, VA and ministered there until 1972. Subsequently, he served in parish ministry at two congregations: the UU Congregation of Greenville, NC (1978-1983) and the UU Fellowship Hendersonville, NC (1984-1985). After many years of distinguished service to Unitarian Universalism, Rev. Tolleson retired on July 31, 1988; however, he continued his service of pastoral counseling and officiating weddings until 2011.

On behalf of the denomination, Rev. Tolleson served as a board member of the Thomas Jefferson District (1968-1969). He also served the Summer Institutes Sites Committee, T. J. District (1969). Likewise, he sang in the church choirs for several years.

In addition to his ministerial and denominational work, Pete was Percussionist with Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, VA and Troop Information and Education Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) for the unit, while in the Army. He had active involvement with the YMCA and South Carolina Poetic Society. He worked as a teacher at Burgundy Farm County Day School, VA for six years (1972-1978). He was manager of the print shop at Warren Wilson College, NC (1984-1996) where many students who did their work-study found him to be both entertaining and inspiring. Pete’s article, “Funeral Service for Carl Sandburg,” was published by Lincoln Herald, Sandburg commemorative issue, Spring, 1968, Vol. 70, #1.

Pete had a real creative bent and his interest profile varied significantly from the usual pattern. He was a person with a wide range of abilities and talents in song and instrumental music (chorus, band, Greenville Symphony), crafts (wood and metal), photography, drama, and gym work. He taught crafts at Boy Scouts and church related camps; did medical photography in the hospital while working as an occupational therapist, and enjoyed sculpture, painting, inventive technology, cycling, reading, italic penmanship and calligraphy during his free time.

Pete’s niece Raelin had these thoughts to share of her uncle:

“Everywhere Pete worked people loved him - his affectionate and compassionate nature, his good cheer, and his strong work ethic were always inspirational to the people whose lives he touched. He will be remembered by so many!”

Pete is survived by his husband Ronnie “Ron” T. Marable, daughter Robin Tolleson, sister Martha Hansen, niece Raelin Hansen, nephew Lou Hansen, as well as his granddaughters: Jeannette Tolleson and Donia Zweig.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of one’s own choosing.

There are currently no plans for a memorial service.

Notes of condolences may be sent to Ron T. Marable at: 114 Elizabeth St, Henderson, NC 27536; or to sister Martha Hansen at: 12185 Clipper Dr. Health Center, Rm 12, Lake Ridge, VA 22192; or to his niece Raelin Hansen at: 1 Battle Sq, Apt 803, Asheville, NC 28801.

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In Loving Memory of Thomas Mikelson (1936-2020)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, June 10, 2020
We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Dr. Thomas J.S. Mikelson, who died on April 17, 2020, at the age of 84.

Thomas was born on January 31, 1936 in Clarion, Iowa to Clarence Harvey Mikelson and Helen J. Henry Mikelson. In 1958, he graduated from Cornell College, IA with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. He then earned his Bachelor of Divinity in 1963, and Master of Arts in Hebrew Scriptures with concentration in Wisdom Literature in 1968, both from the University of Chicago, IL. From 1967 to 1971, he worked as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at Cornell College; and from 1974 to 1976, as a Guest Professor and Lecturer at the University of Iowa, IA. Thomas was a Merrill Fellow at Harvard Divinity School (1980). In 1988, he received his Doctor of Theology from the Harvard Divinity School, MA. His doctoral thesis is titled - The Negro’s God in the Theology of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Social Community and Theological Discourse. He was a Visiting Lecturer on Ministry at Harvard Divinity School from 1994 to 2004.

Rev. Dr. Mikelson was ordained on September 19, 1971 by the Unitarian Universalist Society of Iowa City, Iowa City, IA (presently, in Coralville, IA) where he carried out his ministry from 1971 to 1983. Subsequently, he served in interim ministries at the First Parish in Brookline, MA (1987-1988), and the First Church and Parish in Dedham, MA (1988-1989). In 1989, he accepted a call from the First Parish in Cambridge (UU), MA where he served as Senior Minister until 2006. On June 30, 2006, Rev. Dr. Mikelson retired from his active ministry; upon his retirement, the First Parish in Cambridge honored him as their Minister Emeritus. From 2012 to 2014, he served as an interim minister at the UU Congregation of Saratoga Springs, NY.

On behalf of the denomination, Rev. Dr. Mikelson was a member of the R.E Curriculum Development in UU Identity group (1972-1974), and a workshop leader on UU Identity at the Star Island Summer Assembly. He served on the Ministerial Fellowship Committee from 1972 to 1976; and the UU Ministers Association Executive Committee from 1973 to 1977. He was a Faculty member for the Pacific Northwest Leadership School (1975); Meadville Lombard Summer Institute (1975); and Starr King School summer session (1976). Furthermore, Rev. Dr. Mikelson served as Chairman, Member and Examination Reader of the UUA Independent Study Committee (1977- 1986) and as Cluster Chairman for the Prairie Star District. He was the Minns Lecturer in 1993; and was on the Melcher Award Committee from 2004 to 2009.

As part of his ministry, Rev. Dr. Mikelson wrote hymns; his best-known hymn, “Wake Now My Senses,” was written for the ordination of Rev. Charity Rowley as Minister of Religious Education at First Parish Unitarian Universalist, Arlington, MA. He also wrote, “Sing of Living, Sing of Dying.” Both are in the Singing the Living Tradition hymnal. The latter hymn appears in the British hymnal, Hymns for Living, under, “Living and Dying,” with the music he originally intended for it. He and musician, Tom Benjamin, collaborated on, “Journey,” for the installation of Rev. Mara Dowdall as Minister of First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington, VT and, “Together,” in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the consolidation of Unitarian and Universalist traditions at the 2011 General Assembly.

Rev. Dr. Mikelson served as a leader of the terminal-illness support network, Iowa City (1978); and as President of the United Action for Youth, Iowa City, IA (a youth work social agency funded through United Way). He was a member and board member of the Hawkeye Area Civil Liberties Union, Iowa City, IA; and President (1981-1983), Vice President (1979-1981) and Co-founder of the Iowa City Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (N.A.A.C.P). He functioned as head planner of a multi-state workshop on “Cancer Counseling” for health care professionals (1982), and as board member for the Crisis Center, Iowa City, and the Housing Commission, Iowa City. He was featured guest and interviewer on several local and regional television shows in Iowa, on topics such as US Foreign Policy, Marriage and Family, Cancer Treatment and Terminal Illness Support.

In Cambridge, he was a member of the Harvard Square Churches’ Meal Program and member of the Cambridge Business Association. He gave the opening prayer at Harvard Commencement in 1993 when Colin Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was Commencement speaker amid the controversy over the military’s, “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. His prayer asked that there be no barriers erected with respect to such categories as race, religion “or ways of discerning or expressing love.” He was President of the Board of Ministry at Harvard in 1997 when it issued the recommendation that the Memorial Church at Harvard be allowed to perform same-sex blessing ceremonies within the church in accordance with the University’s non-discrimination policy; the recommendation was approved.

He was Assistant Editor for, The Thought of Paul Tillich, Editors, Adams, James Luther; Pauck, Wilhelm; Shinn, Roger (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1985). He had several of his writings published including: “Cosmic Companionship in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Theology of Social Change”, The Journal of the Interdenominational Theological Center, Spring, 1987. He wrote an article with James Luther Adams, “Legitimation, The Encyclopedia of Religion, ed. Mircea Eliade (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1987), pp. 499b-509a. He received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Award from the Progressive National Baptist convention in 1993.

Rev. Mikelson was an athlete in football, high hurdles, discus, shot put, and wrestling. He had a tenor voice and enjoyed singing in close-harmony choral groups. He loved to dance. He was a photographer and showed his work at galleries in Cambridge, North Adams and at the Griffin Museum-Photography in Winchester, MA. He especially enjoyed his travels to India, Greece, and Israel. He practiced healing work and was a Reiki Master. He could read in German, French, Spanish, Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin.

Rev. Mikelson is survived by his wife, Patricia Sheppard; son, Dana Mikelson, and his partner, Michael Chase; son, Joel Mikelson, and his spouse, Frances DeChoudens; daughter, Kelly Mikelson, and her spouse, Abraham Wickelgren; daughter, Arwen Duffy, and her spouse, Sean Duffy; as well as his four grandchildren: Maya Mikelson; Justin Wickelgren; Jack Duffy; and James Duffy. He was preceded in death by his mother, Helen (Henry) Mikelson, and his father, Clarence Harvey Mikelson.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund, First Parish in Cambridge, 3 Church St, Cambridge, MA 02138.

A memorial service will be scheduled as circumstances allow at the First Parish in Cambridge. Burial was private.

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In Loving Memory of James Mitchel, Jr. (1939-2020)

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 2, 2020
We our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. James “Brad” Bradbury Mitchell Jr., who died on April 25, 2020, at the age of 80.

James was born on October 8, 1939 in Hyannis, MA to James B. Mitchell and Ruth Seabury Mitchell. He received his Bachelor of Science in Education majoring in Music Ed., from Lowell State College, MA in 1961, following which he worked as a Teacher of Music at Lexington Massachusetts Public Schools (1961-1965). Later in 1969, James graduated from the Crane Theological School, Tufts University, MA with his Master of Divinity.

Rev. Mitchell was ordained on June 22, 1969 by the Unitarian Church of Barnstable, MA. In 1969, he accepted a call from the UU Society of Laconia, NH and served for a decade; thereafter, in 1979, he was called to the East Shore UU Church, Kirtland, OH where he would minister until 1986. From 1986 to 2005, Rev. Mitchell served the UU Church of Brunswick, ME and then retired on June 30, 2005. In 2005, the UU Church of Brunswick honored him as their minister emeritus for his nineteen years of service in the history of the congregation. After his retirement, Rev. Mitchell served as an interim minister at the UU Society of Bangor, ME (2006-2008).

In addition to his parish and interim ministries, Rev. Mitchell belonged to several denominational boards and committees. He chaired the UUMA Consultation on Continuing Education (1978); and served on the Ministerial Fellowship Committee (1977-1979), and the Executive Committee of the UU Ministers Association (1977-1979). He provided his services to the Ohio-Meadville District Commissioned Lay Leaders Committee (1983), Ohio-Meadville District Long Range Planning Committee (1983-1984), and Ohio-Meadville District Search Committee (1985). Furthermore, for the UU Church of Brunswick, ME, Rev. Mitchell functioned as a Director of Music (2003-2004), and as an Adult RE Professional (2003-2005). From 2007 to 2008, he also served the Northeast UUMA Chapter.

Rev. Mitchell was an active member of different community organizations including Brunswick Area Interfaith Council; Rotary International (1978-1979); and Ministerial Association, Mentor, OH (1980). He was Professional Gifts Chair for the United Way Campaign, OH; President for the Human Rights Council, Mentor, OH (1981-1982) and Board Member of the Streetcar Company, community theatre, NH. Likewise, Rev. Mitchell served as a Convenor to the Lake County Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, OH (1982), and as a Chaplain to the Hospice of Lake County, OH (1982-1984).

In his leisure, Brad enjoyed community theatre, acting and directing musical programs for nursing homes, sailing, hiking and camping, and genealogy. He advocated for earth care in his sermons and was a lifelong organic gardener.

In remembering Brad, his colleague Rev. Sylvia Stocker wrote:
“Brad was one of the kindest human beings I have ever met. He possessed the ability to get along with just about anyone. He was encouraging and supportive, trustworthy, and loving. In seminary, I heard countless stories about minister emeriti who interfered with the work of the new minister. I am happy to say my experience was the exact opposite of what I had been trained to expect. I never felt anything but unwavering support, encouragement, and love from Brad. I felt lucky to have him active in the church and at my side as a colleague. I will miss him terribly.”

Brad is survived by his son Ian Mitchell; daughter Rebecca Mitchell, her partner Luke Gottlieb, and their children: Judah Gottlieb, Asher Gottlieb, and Sabastian Mitchell; as well as his brother Douglas Mitchell and sister-in-law Christine Welsh. He was predeceased by his wife, Christine Johnson Mitchell.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick (UUCB), PO Box 129, Brunswick, ME 04011.

The memorial service for Brad will go live at 11 am on Saturday, June 6, 2020 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick’s YouTube channel: UUCB AV. The service will be available if people would like to watch it later.

Notes of condolences may be sent to Ian Mitchell at 56 Hillside Rd., Brunswick, ME 04011; or to Rebecca Mitchell at 527 W. Richmond Ave., Richmond, CA 94801; or to Douglas Mitchell at 138 Longwood Ave., Brookline, MA 02446.

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In Loving Memory of Stephen Phinney (1940-2020)

Posted By Administration, Monday, June 1, 2020
We our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Stephen “Steve” E. Phinney, who died on May 2, 2020, at the age of 80.

Steve was born on March 31, 1940 in Rochester, NY to Robert Morris Phinney and Margaret Smith Phinney. In 1964, he graduated from the University of Rochester, NY with a Bachelor of Science in Physics, following which he completed his graduate work in Astrogeophysics at the University of Colorado (1968-1972). He then worked as a Staff Systems Engineer at IBM Federal Systems Company (FSC), (1973-1982); as an Advisory Systems Engineer at IBM FSC, Manassas, VA (1982-1994); and as a Senior System Engineer at Signal Corporation, Fairfax, VA (1994-1999), before discerning his call to ministry. Later in 2003, Steve received his Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC.

Rev. Phinney was granted Preliminary Fellowship in 2004, and ordained on April 17, 2005, by the Mount Vernon Unitarian Church, Alexandria, VA. Prior to his ordination, he served as an intern minister at the First Unitarian Church of Richmond, VA (2002-2003); after his ordination, he served the UU Church of Ellsworth, ME as an interim minister (2006-2007), and the UU Westside Congregation, Rio Rancho, NM as a settled minister (2007-2013). Rev. Phinney then retired from his ministry on July 31, 2013.

Outside of his parish and interim ministries, Rev. Phinney was President of the Liberal Religious Youth Officer (LRY) in Rochester, NY (1958); board member of the Unitarian Universalist for Social-Justice of the Baltimore-Washington Area, and member of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association. He played piano and taught Religious Education for six years with his wife Lucy, at the UU Congregation of Fairfax, VA (1976-1982). For the Mount Vernon Unitarian Church, VA, Rev. Phinney created a bookstore, served as a member of the Aesthetics Committee (1995), and co-chaired the Sunday Service Committee (1993).
Rev. Phinney also provided his services to several community organizations. He was Assistant Scout Master for the Boys Scout (1982-1992); he Co-chaired the I-95 Crossing Study for Virginia Secretary of Transportation (1991-1994); and chaired the Prince William County, Commission on Transportation, VA (1991-1996). Additionally, he served as a member of the Northern Virginia Citizen’s Advisory Committee of Transportation Coordinating Committee (1992); of the Prince William County Historical Commission, VA (1996-2002); and of the Committee to Restore Brentsville Center, VA (1996).
In his free time, Steve liked restoring antiques, genealogy, camping, antiquing, traveling, reading and collecting. He loved music, played trombone and piano, and sang in church choirs.

Steve is survived by his wife, Cynthia Mortland Phinney; his three children: Sara Phinney Kelley and her husband Dave, Jennifer Phinney Bell and her husband Pat, and Robert Stephen Phinney and his wife Alyce; his five grandchildren: Rachel Bell Hopkins and her husband Cameron Hopkins, Erin Bell, Kathleen (Katie) Kelley, Tobey Phinney and Lucas Phinney; as well as his brother Robert A. Phinney and wife Caroline. He was preceded in death by his parents and his first wife, Lucy Walsh Phinney.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Food Bank of the Rockies.

There is no memorial service planned right now; at a later date, his ashes will be interred at the Phinney family cemetery plot in Barnstable, Cape Cod, MA and scattered on Mount Desert Island, ME.

Notes of condolences may be sent to Cynthia Phinney, 14836 E. Alabama Place, Aurora, CO 80012.

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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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