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In Memory of . . . Raymond C. Hopkins (1919-2013)

Posted By Administration, Friday, May 10, 2013

The Rev. Dr. Raymond Charles Hopkins died on April 21, 2013 at the age of 93.

Rev. Hopkins was born in Danbury, CT on July 29, 1919 to Mary (Halstead) and Clarence Hopkins. He attained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University in 1947. In 1949, he also went on to earn a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from Tufts University. Finally, in 1964, he received an honorary Doctor of Sacred Theology from Starr King School for the Ministry.

Rev. Hopkins was ordained at The Universalist Church of America in Brockton, MA in July of 1949. He was first called to serve the Universalist Church of Canton, MA from 1944-1945. He then went on to serve the Universalist Church of Medford, MA from 1945-1946. From 1946-1952, he served the Universalist Church of Brockton, MA. After the consolidation, he continued to serve this church which came to be known as the Universalist Unitarian Church of Brockton, and he remained there until 1961 when he was also named Minister Emeritus.

Rev. Hopkins was actively involved in the effort to unite the Unitarian and Universalist faiths from 1946 until the actual consolidation in 1961, and worked consistently and passionately on many consolidation committees until this dream came to fruition. Later in that same year, he was appointed Executive Vice President of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and remained in that position until 1974.

Rev. Hopkins began a new chapter in his life when, in 1974, after leaving his post at the UUA, he took on the role of Executive Director of the Ferry Beach Park Association in Saco, ME. His experiences as both a parish minister and the Executive Vice President of the UUA allowed him to help Ferry Beach grow into a successful organization. Never one to sit on his laurels, Rev. Hopkins also served as minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Saco & Biddeford from 1975-1984. He was honored with the title of Minister Emeritus in 1984, upon his retirement.

Proudly dedicated to the denomination and beyond, Rev. Hopkins served as Co-Chairman of the American Unitarian Association – Universalist Church of America (AUA– UCA) Program Committee from 1956-1957; Administrator of the Council of Liberal Churches from 1958-1959; Member and Secretary of the Joint Merger Commission from 1957-1960; Chairman of the Merger Plebiscite Committee from 1959-1960; Chairman of the Coordinating Committee on Consolidation from 1960-1961; on the Executive Committee of the International Association for Religious Freedom in 1969; and he was a longstanding member of the Fraters of the Wayside Inn, an exclusive Unitarian Universalist study group. He was also heavily engaged in the anti-war, feminism, and civil right movements. Throughout his tenure as the UUA, he had the opportunity to meet a number of his heroes, including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President John F. Kennedy.

Rev. Hopkins is survived by daughters, Patricia Hopkins, Linda Hopkins, and Janet Clark; as well as eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, Barbara Hopkins, and eight brothers and sisters.

An official date has not yet been set for a planned memorial service, this summer, at Ferry Beach.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Ferry Beach Park Association, 5 Morris Ave., Saco, Maine 04072.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Linda Hopkins at 8 Morris Ave., Saco, ME 04072.

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In Memory of . . . R. Lanier Clance (1938-2013)

Posted By Administration, Friday, May 10, 2013

The Rev. R. Lanier Clance died on April 15, 2013 at the age of 74.

Rev. Clance was born in Jacksonville, FL on December 18, 1938 to Henry and Eloise Clance. He attained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Lynchburg College in 1965. He also earned a Bachelor of Divinity from Lexington Theological Seminary in 1965.

Rev. Clance was ordained at the First Universalist Church in North Olmstead, OH on February 20, 1966. He was called to serve the First Universalist Church (now the Olmstead Unitarian Universalist Congregation) in 1965, and he stayed there until 1974. He then went on to found the First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta, GA in 1976. He continued to serve there (as well as the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Riverdale in Atlanta, GA from 1996-1998) until his retirement in 2001. He was given the honor of being named Minister Emeritus of the First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta in 2001.

Rev. Clance worked hard to uphold peace and justice in his community and beyond. Being a feminist, humanist, and all-around political activist, it comes as no surprise that his beliefs led him to work with the National Organization of Women (N.O.W.), the American Civil Liberties Union (A.C.L.U.), and various other community organizations.

A practitioner of Gestalt and existentialist therapies, Rev. Clance also counseled couples and individuals, and "was a compassionate and forthright companion through his clients' suffering and joy.”

In 1976, Rev. Clance and eight other people joined together to form the First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta. They would eventually build its membership to 450 members by 1981. As one of the founders, Rev. Clance helped form a congregation which was intentionally diverse, bringing together folks from many different communities and helping them view life through a more expansive and generous lens. "As a speaker and leader, he was known for his spontaneity, honesty, and gift of being present in the moment. His legacy includes both a profound acceptance of others as they were and his dedication to urging his congregants to become more fully themselves.”

In "An Existential Ministry: Theory and Practice,” Rev. Clance speaks on his ministerial approach:

I consider my preaching to be Life-Centered. Intellectual concepts are drawn from philosophy, theology, psychology and other disciplines of study. I do not present lectures on these subjects. I do use these areas of knowledge to illuminate and illustrate my particular responses and reactions to life problems of human existence as well as the joys. I believe such preaching creates a dual response. The initial response is to my particular answers and analysis. A more profound response is created by providing individuals with a few concrete answers which they can accept or reject. Namely, they can then work out their own position or faith. I am personally more excited when an individual states something I said started him thinking about an issue or increased his awareness of his own feelings and ideas than when I hear another repeat what I have said as if it were the truth.

A friend noted, "Lanier will be remembered for his gift of engaging others in opening their spirits to know and celebrate the depth of human experience in each moment.”

Rev. Clance is survived by his life partners, who have both cared for him for the last 40 years, Pauline Rose and Nancy Zumoff.

There will be a memorial service on Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. at the First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta, 470 Candler Park Dr. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Pauline Rose Clance and Nancy Zumoff at 1293 Fairview Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30306.

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In Memory of . . . David V. Leonard (1942-2013)

Posted By Administration, Friday, May 10, 2013

The Rev. David V. Leonard died on January 28, 2013. He was 71 years old.

Rev. Leonard was born in Rutland, VT on January 8, 1942 to Katheryn (Campbell) and Richard Leonard. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1963. He then went on to attain a Bachelor of Divinity from Chicago Theological Seminary in 1967.

Ordained by the United Methodist Church in Trivoli, IL in June, 1967, Rev. Leonard eventually decided to make a change and, in 1975, he left the Methodist Church to begin a life as a Unitarian Universalist. He immediately took steps to become a Unitarian Universalist minister, and was called to his first position at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Smithton, PA from 1977-1984. He then went on to serve to First Unitarian Church of Lynchburg, VA from 1984-1992; the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown, OH from 1992-2002; the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Binghamton, NY from 2002-2003; and the First Unitarian Society of Plainfield, NJ from 2003-2008.

His wife, Linda, shared:

David Leonard was an intensely private person who was happiest either chasing trains (in order to photograph a locomotive), or walking a trail in the woods. Classical music, the deep night sky, and a win by the Detroit Tigers or Chicago Cubs also moved him deeply. So did the affection of his cats, from the illegal seminary fur brother, to the orange and black companions on the hospice hospital bed.

Hating ceremony, David much preferred jeans to a suit. Clergy and lay people alike sometimes wondered if he really was a minister since he only wore his "uniform" when absolutely necessary.

As a person most comfortable by himself, David was uneasy with many of the tasks and expectations of the parish minister. Over the years, he learned to wear two hats: the minister's hat and the rail fan/photographer hat. He was an excellent photographer and good at keeping his own counsel. He was also superlative at counseling others and preaching on Sunday morning.

He read theology, philosophy, science (especially paleontology), and thrillers, with Tony Hillerman and Sue Grafton being two of his favorite authors. He also liked children's books.

He was a good father. He loved his children, his animals, the natural world, and, of course, his trains. He had a wry, Mark Twain-Ambrose Bierce sense of humor that could find the ridiculous in almost any situation. He was politically green but not without snide remarks.

In Emerson's sense, David Leonard leaves the world a better place.

Rev. Leonard is survived by his wife, Linda Wiltz; daughter, Elisabeth Anne Leonard and her husband, Adam Hill; son Marc Leonard; brother, Richard Leonard; sister, Lucy Hill; and grandchildren, Benjamin Sage and Jaden Liana.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Linda Wiltz at 16 Genesee Ave., Binghamton, NY 13903.

He would be pleased if, in lieu of flowers, donations might be made to: any Railroad Club, the Animal Rescue League (www.animalleague.org), or the Humane Society (www.humanesociety.org).

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In Memory of . . . Robert C. Clarke (1928-2013)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Rev. Robert C. Clarke died on January 18, 2013. He was 84 years old.

Rev. Clarke was born in Seattle, WA on June 11, 1928 to Ethel (Moore) and Clarence Clarke. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Millikin University in 1960. He then went on to attain a Bachelor of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary in 1963.

Rev. Clarke was ordained on September 20, 1964 at the First Unitarian Society in Exeter, NH, where he also served from 1964-1967. He went on to serve the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, VA from 1967-1977; The First Unitarian Church of Dallas, TX from 1977-1980; the Unitarian Church North in Mequon, WI from 1982-1983; and the First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati, OH from 1983-1991. Rev. Clarke was honored with the title of Minister Emeritus from the First Unitarian Church, and retired from ministry in 1991. In 1996, he helped found the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County in Ephraim, WI.

Committed to his faith, Rev. Clarke lectured at the Star Island Family Conference in 1966; and spoke at the Southwestern Regional Conference in 1979. He was a member of the Holmes-Weatherly Award Committee in 1970 and 1971. He also served as Chairman of the Washington Advisory Committee to the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Department of Social Responsibility in 1967; as well as the Commission on Education for Professional Religious Leadership from 1970-1971.

Rev. Clarke enjoyed football, softball, golf, music, and reading. He was a guest on numerous religious television programs in Chicago, IL, Washington D.C., and Dallas, TX. He also volunteered at the Hadley School for the Blind and counseled prisoners.

Rev. Clarke is survived by his wife of 62 years, Anne; daughter, Betsy; son, Jim; grandchildren Marie and Justin; and great-granddaughter, Ava. He was predeceased by his sister, Helen, and brothers, Jim and Jack.

A memorial concert will take place on Sunday, May 19, 2013 3:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County, 10341 Water Street, Ephraim, WI 54211.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Anne Clarke at 10554 Applewood Drive, Sister Bay, WI 54234.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Good Samaritan Society ─ Scandia Village at 10560 Applewood Rd., Sister Bay, WI 54234; or to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County at P.O. Box 859, Sister Bay, WI 54234.

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In Memory of . . . Nancy C. Roemheld (1932-2013)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Rev. Nancy C. Roemheld died on January 4, 2013. She was 80 years old.

Rev. Roemheld was born in Holyoke, MA on February 23, 1932 to Ruth and Frederick Stevens. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Alverno College in 1982. She went on to attain a Master of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School and a Master of Arts in Religious Studies from The University of Chicago Divinity School, both in 1986.

Rev. Roemheld was ordained on June 1, 1986 at the Unitarian Church West in Brookfield, WI. She was first called to serve the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens, GA from 1986-1994. She then embarked on a remarkable 12-year career as an interim minister where she served the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greensboro in Jamestown, NC from 1995-1996; the Unitarian Universalist Church of Studio City, CA from 1997-1999; the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo, NY from 1999-2000; the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson, AZ from 2000-2001; the Bradford Community Church UU in Kenosha, WI from 2001-2002; the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Wilmington, NC from 2002-2003; the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie, PA from 2003-2005; the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Los Gatos, CA from 2005-2006; and the First Unitarian Church of Omaha, NE from 2006 until her retirement in 2007. She also served as a chaplain at the Universal Unitarian Church of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada from 1996-1997.

Committed to her faith, Rev. Roemheld was actively involved on all sides of the pulpit. She was a lay leader before becoming a minister. While serving the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens, she was especially proud of the work she did to help guide the church through the construction of brand new facilities. She also served on the board of the UUA’s Central Midwest District.

In a sermon she delivered one Easter Sunday called "Waking Up/Eros and Pathos,” Rev. Roemheld spoke wisely of life’s certain and universal struggles:

From the depths of the collective human consciousness, the cosmic drama of the resurrection story emerged – to remind us that the heroic, fulfilled and therefore deathless life is achieved by surmounting some crucifixion, by living through some dark night of the soul; to remind us that the creative spirit of love lives in you and me…waiting to be expressed and experienced.

Rev. Roemheld is survived by daughter, Joanne R. Jeanguenat; daughter, Kathryn C. Zunac and husband, Mick; son, Steven F. Roemheld and wife, Margaret; daughter, MaryBeth Roemheld and partner, Laurie Gift; grandchildren, Kristen and Jonathan; and great-granddaughter, Nora. She was predeceased by her former husband and friend, Fred Roemheld.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 3:30 p.m. at the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee, 1342 N. Astor St., Milwaukee, WI 53202.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Joanne R. Jeanguenat at 2702 Mason St., Madison, WI 53705.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Happy Endings No-Kill Animal Shelter, 5349 West Forest Home Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53220; or to the Friends of the Unitarian Universalist Association at P.O. Box #55019, Boston, MA 02205.

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In Memory of . . . Donald J. Jacobsen, Sr. (1927-2013)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Rev. Donald J. Jacobsen, Sr. died on January 6, 2013 at the age of 85.

Rev. Jacobsen was born in Brooklyn, NY on November 17, 1927 to Mina and Frederick Jacobsen. He attained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Hamilton College in 1950. In 1952, he went on to earn a Master of Arts from Columbia University. Finally, he received his Master of Divinity from St. Lawrence Theological School in 1955.

Rev. Jacobsen was ordained at the Unitarian Church of Fort Worth, TX on October 18, 1955. He was first called to serve the Unitarian Church of Fort Worth in 1955 and he stayed there until 1957. From 1962-1965, he served the Neighborhood Church of Pasadena, CA as their Minister of Education. He was then called to the First Universalist Society of Chicago, IL and served as their minister from 1954-1970. Lastly, from 1970 until his retirement in 1987, he served as Minister of Education to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, GA.

Proudly dedicated to the denomination, Rev. Jacobsen was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers’ Association (UUMA), the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA), the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), the Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation (UUWF), the Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF), and the friends of Religious Humanism FRH). He also served as Chairman of the Social Responsibility Committee of the Central Midwest District.

Throughout his life, Rev. Jacobsen played an active role in the civil rights struggle. He worked as a volunteer with the NAACP and the American Friends Service Committee Job Opportunities Program; and served as the Chicago Area Coordinator for the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. He was also a member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Abortion Rights Action League.

In addition to his ministerial career, Rev. Jacobsen taught elementary school, worked in psychiatric hospitals, and served in the Hospital Corps of the United States Navy.

In an autobiographical piece entitled, "Religious Odyssey,” Rev. Jacobsen writes:

What is important for me religiously is intelligent caring concern – attempting to love more fully and more helpfully to empower others to fulfill themselves, and to attempt to find ways where this kind of caring becomes more of a force in our congregation, in our community, in our nation, and in our world.

Rev. Jacobsen is survived by his wife, Ann Ehrlich; daughter, Karen Jacobsen-Mispagel; son, James Jacobsen; and grandchildren, Heather Mispagel Ganio, Benjamin Mispagel, and Elizabeth Jacobsen. His son, Donald Jacobsen, Jr., predeceased him.

There will be a memorial service on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, 1911 Cliff Valley Way NE, Atlanta, GA 30329.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Dr. Karen Jacobsen-Mispagel at 1120 Cherokee Circle, Athens, GA 30606.

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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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