Print Page | Contact Us | Your Cart | Sign In | Join
Remembering the Living Tradition
Blog Home All Blogs
Search all posts for:   

 

In Memory of . . . Georgette I Wonders (1952-2014)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Rev. Georgette Irene Wonders died on April 11, 2014 at the age of 61.  Georgette was born on July 23, 1952, to Samuel and Joyce (Sturtevant) Wonders. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from San Jose State University in 1977, and went on to attain a Master of Divinity from the Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry in 2001.


Rev. Wonders was ordained to the Unitarian Universalist ministry on October 13, 2002, by the Bradford Community Church Unitarian Universalist, of Kenosha, WI. She was called to the Bradford Community Church Unitarian Universalist in August, 2002, and served there until her death.

Georgette joined the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association in 2002, and served as Good Officer for the Central Midwest Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association from 2005 to 2014. She served as a member of the Kenosha County Clergy Association, and as co-president of Congregations United to Serve Humanity (CUSH) from 2005 to 2007.

 

Georgette enjoyed knitting, gardening, reading, baking, and quilting. A former elementary school teacher, she loved children and relished the time she spent with her great nieces and nephews. She recently announced her decision to retire from the ministry, and her post retirement plans included traveling, toy making, and spending time with her wife.

Georgette’s wife, Hope, lovingly remembers meeting Georgette and knowing that she “had a passion that had been building her whole life to really make a difference as a minister.” Hope remembers Georgette’s commitment to social justice and social action, her engaging presence, and ability to “look at the larger picture while holding the smaller pieces.”

She is survived by wife, Hope Engeseth; son, Andrew Wonders; parents, Sam and Joyce Wonders; sisters, Heather Keefer, Autumn (Simon Szeghy) Wonders and Naomi (Randy Groskinsky) Wonders; father-in-law, Lyle Bloom; brother-in-law, Leslie (Wendy) Bloom; and sister-in-law, Faith Wamuthu. Georgette is also survived by 15 nieces and nephews and 10 great nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Bradford Community Church Unitarian Universalist, 5810 8th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53140; Congregations United to Serve Humanity (C.U.S.H.), 6050 8th Avenue Kenosha, WI  53143; or the Shalom Center of the Interfaith Network, 1713 62nd Street, Kenosha, WI 53143.

Notes of condolences may be sent in care of Hope Engeseth, 5608 35th Avenue, Kenosha, WI 53144.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

In Memory of . . . Herbert F. Vetter (1923-2014)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Rev. Dr. Herbert F. Vetter Jr. died on March 7, 2014, at the age of 90.  Herbert was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 27, 1923 to Herbert Ferdinand Vetter Sr. and Kathleen Wilson. He graduated the University of Chicago in 1947 with a Bachelor of Arts.  He then attended Harvard Divinity School and Meadville Theological School, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity in 1952. He received an Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Meadville Theological School in 1983.

 

Rev. Vetter was ordained to the Unitarian ministry on October 26, 1952, at the First Congregational Parish Unitarian in Sharon, MA. He served the First Congregational Parish from 1952 to 1953. In 1954, he was called to the Unitarian Church of Franklin, NH, at which he served as minister until 1957. He went on to serve the Unitarian Church of Delaware County, PA, from 1958 to 1959; The First Parish of Milton, MA, from 1959 to 1960; and The First Parish of Northborough, MA, from 1960 to 1964. In 1967, he was called to First Parish in Cambridge, of Cambridge, MA. He served First Parish until 1990, first as Associate Minister and then as Minister at Large, while simultaneously founding and directing Cambridge Forum. In 1999, First Parish in Cambridge voted him Minister Emeritus.

 

Rev. Vetter was very active within the denomination. He served as co-chair of the New England Ministers Institute; Moderator of the Greenfield Group of Unitarian Universalist Ministers; Field Education Representative of the Harvard Divinity School; Executive Committee Member of the New England Unitarian Ministers’ Association; member of the United Ministry at Harvard and Radcliffe; member of the Leverett House Senior Common Room at Harvard College; and member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Board of Chaplains.

 

An avid writer and historian, Rev. Vetter authored five books, and edited five additional titles. He wrote: Joyful Power (1999); The Harvard Square Book (2007); Is God Necessary? No! And Yes (2007); Prayers of Power (2008); James Luther Adams: Prophet to the Powerful (2008). He edited: Speak Out: Against the New Right (1982); The Heart of God: Prayers of Rabindranath Tagore (1997); Catholic Power vs. American Freedom (2002); Hartshorne: A New World View (2007); Notable American Unitarians 1740-1900 (2007).

 

In 1967, while serving First Parish in Cambridge, Rev. Vetter founded Cambridge Forum. Cambridge Forum began as a program of The Social Responsibility Committee of First Parish, and functioned as a platform that brought together renowned thinkers and ordinary citizens to discuss and examine social and political issues. Topics of discussion included the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the anti-nuclear movement. The Forum produced the first continental radio and television broadcasts done by Unitarian Universalists. Cambridge Forum now exists as a non-profit organization affiliated with First Parish; its live public discussions are broadcasted through National Public Radio.

 

Following his retirement from the ministry and Cambridge Forum, Rev. Vetter founded the Harvard Square Library in 2000 (www.harvardsquarelibrary.org). Affiliated with First Parish in Cambridge, Harvard Square Library is a digital library that features biographies, books, historical documents, and other materials about Unitarian Universalism and religious liberalism.

 

Herbert was interested in music, reading, visual and performing arts, and travel. He loved classical music and jazz; Duke Ellington was one of his favorite performers.

 

Herbert is remembered by his son, Jim, as having "an amazing intellect," and by his daughter, Kathleen, as having been “passionate about his many projects.”

 

He is survived by wife, Dorothy H. Vetter; daughter, Kathleen E. Vetter (John Zurich); son, James B. Vetter; son-in-law, Tim Kutzmark; two grandchildren, Lyra and Larsson; one great grandchild, Elsa; brothers, Donald Vetter, Walter Vetter, and Robert Vetter; and sister Muriel Helewicz.

 

A memorial service was held on March 22nd, at 2:00 p.m., at First Parish in Cambridge, 3 Church Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. Rev. Tim Kutzmark, of The Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading, officiated.

 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Rev. Vetter's name to Cambridge Forum or Harvard Square Library, both at 3 Church St., Cambridge, MA 02138.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

In Memory of . . . Edgar Child Peara (1921-2014)

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 14, 2014

The Rev. Edgar Child Peara died on February 22, 2014 at the age of 92.  Edgar was born in Moline, Illinois on July 22, 1921, to A. Conrad Westling and Grace Child. His mother, Grace, remarried A.T. Peara and as an adult, Edgar assumed Peara as his last name.  He graduated from The Principia College in 1947 with a Bachelor of Arts, and worked as a Registered Christian Science practitioner for eleven years. He left the Christian Science faith in 1958, and enrolled in seminary. He graduated Meadville Lombard Theological School in 1962 with a Bachelor of Divinity.

Ordained to the Universalist ministry in 1963, Rev. Peara was first called to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Springfield, VT, and the Universalist Church of Chester Depot, VT. He served the two linked congregations until 1967. He was next called to the Lake Shore Unitarian Society of Wilmette, IL, at which he served from 1967 to 1976. He went on to serve the New Trier Unitarian Society, of Wilmette, IL from 1977 to 1987, and the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Park Forest, IL, from 1987 to 1997. The Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Park Forest voted him Minister Emeritus in 1997.

Rev. Peara faithfully served the denomination and his community. He was President of both the New Hampshire/Vermont and the Central Midwest Districts; Social Action Consultant to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee; and President of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association’s Chicago Area Liberal Ministers’ Group. He spent four years practicing as an abortion counselor for the Chicago Area Clergy Counseling Service for Problem Pregnancies and founded the North Shore Peace Initiative, in Illinois, and Veterans for Peace, in Oregon. Post-retirement, he worked for over forty-two different volunteer organizations in Eugene, OR, and volunteered until the age of ninety-one.

Prior to his call to ministry, Rev. Peara served the Combat Engineers Corps, from 1942 to 1946, as a lieutenant and company adjutant. In 2010, he was named a Knight of the French Legion of Honor.

Rev. Peara was interested in travel, art, movies, sports, and ballroom dancing. He was an avid traveler; in 2000, he spent several months in Auckland, New Zealand and served as Interim Minister at Auckland Unitarian Church.  His son, Tim, remembers his father for valuing family, and collecting and telling jokes. He describes his father as a "kind and generous man,” who was ""very concerned about the community in which he lived.”

Rev. Peara is survived by sons, Chris Peara (Julie Mello), Jon Peara (Josie), Tim Peara (Carolyn), and Andy Peara (Alison); stepchildren, Portia Blackman (Dave), Allan Ball, Leah Pahlmeyer (Perry), and Sarah Taylor (Tim); ten grandchildren; two great grandchildren; two nieces; one nephew; and one cousin.

A Celebration of Life was held on May 17, 2014, at 2:00 p.m., at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene, 1685 West 13th Avenue, Eugene, OR, 97402.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Rev. Peara to The Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene, Unity of the Valley, Nearby Nature, The Village School, Red Cross of Lane County, Community Alliance of Lane County, Friends of Buford Park, or Friends of Hendricks Park.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

In Memory of . . . Suzanne Trappe Black (1942-2014)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Rev. Suzanne Trappe Black died on February 10, 2014 at the age of 71.  Suzanne Black was born on August 28, 1942, in Alexandria, West Virginia, to Winston Edward Black and Virginia Trappe Black (Price). She attended Mt. Holyoke College from 1960 to 1963, and then transferred to the University of Illinois. She graduated the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Art in 1965 and with a Master of Arts in 1967.  She went on to study at Starr King School for the Ministry, and graduated with a Master of Divinity in 1990. 


Rev. Black was ordained to the Unitarian Universalist Ministry on May 24, 1992 by The Unitarian Universalists Fellowships of Big Sky, Billings, Bozeman, Idaho Falls, and Missoula, in Pray, Montana. She served as Interim Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York, PA, from 1992 to 1993, and Interim Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fayetteville, AR, from 1993 to 1994. She then served as Extension Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Las Vegas, NV, from 1994 to 1997. In 1997, she was called to serve as minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of South County, of Mission Viejo, CA (now called Tapestry, a Unitarian Universalist Congregation). She served there until 2000, and then served as interim minister at St. Paul’s Universalist Church, of Little Fall, NY, from 2000 to 2001.

Committed to the denomination, Rev. Black served as co-leader of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Beyond Categorical Thinking Workshop in 1993; co-organizer of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Building a Jubilee World Workshop, in 1996; and between 1997 and 2000, co-planner of three Pacific Southwest District Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association Retreats. She then served as the Vice President of the Pacific Southwest District Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association Chapter, from 1999 to 2000.

Rev. Black is remembered as one who “helped the underdog,” and her occupations prior to ministry speak to this. Prior to seminary, she was steadily engaged in education and pastoral care. She taught high school French in Chicago after graduating the University of Illinois in 1967; however, the suburban lifestyle was not to her liking. In 1974, she moved to urban Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and worked as the head houseparent at a home for emotionally disturbed teenagers. She later worked as a special education teacher and an education department supervisor, in Boulder, Montana.

Rev. Black was very interested in music and animals. She was musical throughout her life, beginning with piano lessons in her childhood, and ending with karaoke following her retirement. She always had several dogs as pets, and considered the dogs to be family.

Suzanne is remembered by her sister, Judy May, as being “passionate about people, her connections with people, and [with] maintaining those connections.” She “knew how to put a good spin on things, and look at things in a positive way.”

She is survived by her sister, Judith May; brother, Theodore Black (Charlene Trappe-Black); nephews, Andrew May (Nicole May) and Brian May (Abbigail May); and niece, Ginny Black (Felicity Jackson).

Donations may be made in Suzanne's memory to Starr King School for the Ministry, 2441 Le Conte Ave, Berkeley CA 94709, to your area companion pet rescue/shelter, or to a charity of your choice.

Notes of condolences may be sent to Judy May, Box 2100 RR 1, Corner Brook, NL A2H 2N2 Canada.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

In Memory of . . . Albert F. Ciarcia (1924-2013)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 13, 2014
The Rev. Albert Francis Ciarcia died on Friday, July 26, 2013 at the age of 89. Rev. Ciarcia was born in Brooklyn, New York in May 18, 1924. In 1952, he earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree from the Lawrence Seminary in Canton, N.Y., where he preached at area churches.

Rev. Ciarcia was ordained September 7, 1952 at the First Universalist Church of Norwich, CT, followed by pastorates in New York City, Greater Bridgeport/Stratford, CT, where he was minister for 32 years and named Minister Emeritus. Upon retirement, he held monthly pastorates for the Unitarian Fellowships of Bernardston, MA and New Britain, CT as well as serving as guest minister for other fellowships and churches in Connecticut and Massachusetts until his death.

While serving in New York City, he founded America’s first All-Faith Chapel, which was open daily for meditation or prayer for adherents of any religion in the world. In addition, he initiated a series of "Religion in American Life,” which included Steve Allen, Frank Lloyd Wright, JC Penny, Victor Riesel and others. He also had the distinct honor of being appointed by King Paul and Queen Frederika of Greece to serve as Chaplain to a group of American dignitaries visiting their sister cities in Greece.

Throughout his ministry, Rev. Ciarcia was active in various denominational affairs and social concerns projects. He founded the Social Action Department of the Council of Churches in Bridgeport and also formed Hope Center for addiction recovery. His dedication and efforts to make city sidewalks and parking ADA compliant earned him a special Commendation from the Governor of Connecticut.

Known by his parishioners for his heartfelt ministry with words, he wrote the following:

Whatever the need that brings you to this special place and hour, know most surely that it is best served through eager receptivity of mind and heart.

If it be to take a firmer step toward the lifting horizon of high thought; if it be a desire to give assistance to feelings that should range and are true; if it be to challenge the way of your life; if it be to find your place as part of a caring and serving community; - then let your mind consider well what is here thoughtfully given, then let your heart accept freely what is here lovingly shared.

The Rev. Albert Ciarcia is survived by his wife of fifty-five years, Jane Ciarcia, his daughters Holly McCann, Joyce Ciarcia-Levy and his son Christopher.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

In Memory of . . . Arthur D. Wilmot (1937-2013)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 13, 2014

The  Rev. Arthur Dean Wilmot died on August 6, 2013, at the age of 75. Rev. Wilmot was born in Port Angeles, Washington to Dean Arthur and Evelyn Cecil (Getty) Wilmot, on August 17, 1937.  He graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1959.  In 1962, he earned a Master of Divinity degree from Tufts University.

Ordained by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Chico, CA on February 17, 1963, Rev. Wilmot served that congregation for six years until 1968.  Following his ministry at Chico, he moved to Victoria, B.C. Canada, where he served the First Unitarian Church of Victoria until 1971. He then served as a Community Minister at the Narcotic Addiction Fellowship. Rev. Wilmot returned to parish ministry at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis, OR in 1979 where he served until 1996, with the exception of a brief period at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Binghamton, NY. Upon his retirement from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis, he was honored with the title of Minister Emeritus.

Throughout his life, Rev. Wilmot was devoted to a belief in the worth and equality of all people and strove to make this a reality in everyone’s life. Active in the civil rights movement, he was involved with the march in Selma, Alabama, as well as promoting voter registration in Mississippi. Rev. Wilmot was particularly honored to meet the Reverends Martin Luther King Jr. and C.T. Vivian during these efforts.

 

Rev. Wilmot was an advocate for peace and justice throughout his lifetime. He worked for equal rights for women and against the nuclear arms race. He supported each person’s right to seek his/her own truth and actively opposed the hatred underlying anti-Semitism, racism, and sexism. 

Rev. Wilmot is survived by his wife of 38 years, Heather Stevens and his three children, Pamela Condick, Deana McNee and Jon Wilmot. He is also survived by 15 grandchildren and 11 great-grand children.

A memorial service for Rev. Wilmot was held on September 15th, 2013 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Heather Wilmot, c/o Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis, 2945 Northwest Circle Boulevard, Corvallis, OR 97330.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

In Memory of . . . Margo McKenna (1960-2014)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Rev. Margo Rae McKenna died on February 16, 2014 at the age of 53.  Margo was born in Ontario, Canada on November 22, 1960 to Henry Mattson and Frieda Mattson. She graduated from Andrews University with a Bachelor of Social Work in 1983, and from Loma Linda University with a Masters of Social Work in 1988. She studied at Princeton Theological Seminary, and graduated with a Master of Divinity in 1988.

Rev. McKenna was ordained to the Seventh-Day Adventist Ministry on July 6, 1996 at the Garden Grove Seventh-Day Adventist Church, of Garden Grove, CA. She served as Associate Minister at Paradise Valley Seventh-Day Adventist Church, of San Diego, CA, from 1988 to 1989; Associate Minister at Tierrasanta Seventh-Day Adventist Church, of San Diego, CA, from 1989 to 1993; and Associate Minister at Garden Grove Seventh-Day Adventist Church from 1994 to 1998.

In 1998, Rev. McKenna left the Seventh-Day Adventist ministry and began to explore Unitarian Universalism. She served as the Director of Religious Education at the Universalist Unitarian Church of Riverside, of Riverside, CA, from 1999 to 2000. Fellowshipped as a Unitarian Universalist minister in November 2000, Rev. McKenna was called to the Chalice Unitarian Universalist Congregation, of Escondido, CA, in 2001. She served as minister there until 2010. From 2010 to 2014, Rev. McKenna spent time creating art, and working as a social worker in hospice settings throughout Southern California and Michigan.

Rev. McKenna was very active in both the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and Unitarian Universalism. She founded the Women Minister’s Association in 1988; served as the President of the North Park Christian Service Agency of San Diego in 1990; President of the North Park Ecumenical Ministerial Association in 1991; Co-organizer of the Orange County Interfaith Council in 1995; and member of the Orange County Chapter of the National Conference Commission on Justice from 1995 to 1998. She maintained membership with the National Association of Socially Responsible Organizations, the National Organization for Women, the Liberal Religious Educators Association, and the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association.

She enjoyed hiking, mountain climbing, reading, and painting. Throughout the last five years of her life, she developed an avid interest in photography. Rev. McKenna is remembered as “very outgoing” and “loved by everyone.” She is described by her sister as “a beautiful person,” who was “a blessing to so many people.”  

She is survived by her sisters Melodie Mattson-Bell (Chuck) and Marlene Harris (Robert); her brother, Morris Mattson (Sayaka); and her mother, Frieda Mattson. She is also survived by eight nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held on March 15th, at 11:00 AM, at the Chalice Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 2324 Miller Ave, Escondido, California 92029. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Heifer International, 1 World Ave, Little Rock, AR 72202.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

In Memory of . . . John David Scheyer (1928-2014)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Rev. John David Scheyer died on February 7, 2014 at the age of 85.

David was born in Philadelphia, PA, on April 28, 1928 to Dr. Frederick L. Scheyer and Synette Swensen Scheyer. He served the United States Marine Corps from 1951 to 1953, and was honorably discharged in 1957. He graduated from the Starr King School for the Ministry with a Master of Divinity in 1967.

Rev. Scheyer was ordained to the Unitarian Universalist ministry on February 9, 1968, by the Unitarian Church of Fort Lauderdale. He was first called to serve the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Lauderdale in 1967, and served there until 1971. He was then called to the Church of the Mediator in Providence, RI, at which he served from 1977 to 1978. He went on to serve the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead, MA, from 1979 to 1982. He then served as an Interim Minister for eleven years; serving the First Parish Church of Ashby Unitarian Universalist, of Ashby, MA, from 1983 to 1984; the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh, of Raleigh, NC, from 1986 to 1987; the Unitarian Church in Charleston, of Charleston, SC, from 1987 to 1989; and lastly, the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, of Austin, TX, from 1989 to 1990.

Active within the denomination, David served as President of the Billings Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, of Billings, MT; President of the Massachusetts Bay District of Unitarian Universalist Congregations, Board Member of the Florida District of Unitarian Universalist Congregations, and member of the Florida Chapter of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association.

David was deeply committed to ending domestic violence, and as such, spent a large part of his later years volunteering at Resources Education Assistance Counseling Housing (REACH) of Macon County, in Franklin, NC. He spent many nights in hospitals, talking with domestic violence victims and offering comfort and companionship.

David was passionate about backpacking, hiking, and sailing. He took week long backpacking trips in California during his time in seminary, and completed a month long hike through the Alaskan Wilderness in the early 1960’s. Each summer, he and his wife, Fia, moored their sailboat off the coast of the Bahamas. They lived on board and enjoyed the water, sunsets, and people they met. They also spent time sailing in Massachusetts and Florida, living first on their boat, and later in their homes on shore.

David is described by his stepson, David Cefkin, as having “a passion for equality, and a very low tolerance for injustice.”

David is survived by three step children, David Cefkin (Mia), Suzie Della Penta (George) and Beverly Calobrace; eight grandchildren; five great grandchildren, and was the brother of Warren Scheyer. He was preceded in death by his wife, Fia B. Scheyer.

A memorial service was held on February 22nd at 1:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Franklin, N.C., 28734. Walter Burnette officiated

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to REACH of Macon County, PO Box 228, Franklin, NC  28744.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

In Memory of . . . William Harper Houff (1928-2014)

Posted By Administration, Monday, February 17, 2014

The Rev. Dr. William "Bill” Harper Houff died on January 26th, 2014 at the age of 85.

William "Bill” Houff was born in New Hope, VA, on April 27th, 1928 to Harper P. Houff and Anna Elizabeth Willberger. He graduated from The College of William and Mary in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. In 1952, he received a Master’s of Science in Chemistry, and in 1955, a Ph.D. in Chemistry, both from Michigan State University. He then worked as a chemist in Michigan, New York, and California, respectively, from 1958 to 1964. Rev. Houff graduated from Starr King School for the Ministry, with a Bachelor in Divinity, in 1964.

Ordained to the Unitarian Universalist ministry in 1964, Rev. Houff served the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Redwood City, CA from 1964 to 1968, the Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Church of Shoreline, WA from 1968-1973, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane, WA from 1973-1988. Rev. Houff was certified as an Accredited Interim Minister in 1992. He served as interim minister for the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg, MB from 1988-1989, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greensboro in Jamestown, NC from 1989 to 1990, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, NC from 1990-1991, the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, BC from 1991 to 1993 and the University Unitarian Church of Seattle, WA from 1997 to 1999. In 1988, he was honored with the title of Minister Emeritus by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane. Rev. Houff wrote a book entitled Infinity in Your Hand: A Guide for the Spiritually Curious; the book was published by Melior Publications in 1989 and Skinner House Books in 1990.

Rev. Houff dedicated much of his time to Unitarian Universalism, and served the denomination in various capacities. He was a regular participant in Pacific Northwest Division Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association chapter meetings from 1968 to 1988, and was a member of the Pacific Northwest Division Nominating Committee. Rev. Houff served as President of the Bay Area Ministers Association from 1964 to 1965, Chair of the Pacific Central District Personnel Committee from 1964 to 1965, Member and Chair of the Student Affairs Committee at Starr King School from 1967 to 1970, and Workshop Leader for the Unitarian Universalist Minsters Association Continuing Education, Network, Training, Enrichment and Renewal (CENTER) Committee from 1968 to 1988.

Rev. Houff was deeply committed to social justice. Along with other Unitarian Universalist ministers, he traveled to Selma, Alabama in 1965 for the Selma to Montgomery March. Several years later, he marched in San Francisco to protest the Vietnam War and the use of Napalm on the people of Vietnam. In 1984, at the Spokane Unitarian Universalist Church, Rev. Houff delivered a sermon titled, "Silent Holocaust,” in which he described the life-threatening negligence of the nuclear industry. The sermon served as a catalyst for the formation of the Handford Education Action League (HEAL), a grassroots nuclear concern group. Rev. Houff was a founder and leader of the group.

Rev. Houff’s friends and family remember his strong connection to his rural Southern roots, despite his departure from his family’s working farm at age eighteen. Following his move to Spokane in 1972, Rev. Houff acquired a forty acre farm, which he named "The Still Point.” He constructed the main farmhouse and several other outbuildings. He was interested in photography, reading, carpentry, farming, and backpacking.

Rev. Houff is survived by sons Konrad Crist (Karen Campbell), Gregory Houff (Starla), Robert Houff, and by his stepchildren. He is also survived by his grandchildren Torin, Marina, and Trevor. Rev. Houff was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Anna Lee, and his beloved wife, Patricia "Patty” Meagher McTigue.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Inland Northwest Land Trust, 33 W. Main Ave. Spokane, WA 99201-1017.Notes of condolences may be sent in care of Greg Houff, 1002 Golden Hills Drive, Cheney, WA. 99004.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

In Memory of . . . Gordon B. McKeeman (1920-2013)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Rev. Dr. Gordon Butler "Bucky” McKeeman died on December 18th, 2013 at the age of 93.

Gordon was born in Lynn, MA, on September 12th, 1920 to William Neil and Lena Mabel (Goodridge) McKeeman. He graduated from Lynn English High School in 1938, and from Salem State College, with a B. S. in Education, in 1942.

Gordon went on to receive his Masters Degree in 1945 from the Universalist School of Religion at Tufts University. In 1969, he earned an Honorary Doctorate from Meadville Lombard Theological School.

Ordained to the Universalist ministry in 1945, Rev. McKeeman served All Souls Universalist Church of Worcester, MA from 1944 - 1950, First Parish Universalist Church of Stoughton, MA from 1950 - 1955, St. Paul’s Church of Palmer, MA from 1955 - 1961, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron, OH from 1961 - 1983. In 1984, he was named Minister Emeritus of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron, OH. In 1983, he accepted the invitation to serve as the President of Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA, and he did so faithfully until 1988. His influence on the nature and shape of Unitarian Universalist ministry endures.

Rev. McKeeman engaged civic life with zeal. He held various offices on the Unity Community Council, served as a Board member for the Akron Rotary Club, founded the Fair Housing Contact Service, and founded the Planned Parenthood Association of Akron OH. He was also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Akron, OH.

Heavily invested in and committed to the denomination, Rev. McKeeman served as Vice President of the Massachusetts Universalist Convention, and President of the Massachusetts Universalist Ministers’ Association. Along with his wife, Phyllis, he served as Youth Leader at Ferry Beach. Additionally, he was the President of the Ohio-Meadville District, Vice President and President of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and Vice Moderator of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Board of Trustees. Additionally, he ran for Presidency of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Rev. McKeeman received the Angus H. MacLean Award from the Unitarian Universalist Association in 1982, and was the Berry Street Conference Essayist in 1993. Together with his wife Phyllis, he was awarded the UUA Distinguished Service Award in 1993.

Rev. McKeeman placed tremendous value on lay ministry. The Ohio Meadville District’s Commissioned Lay Leader program is an outgrowth of his grounding in Universalism and his understanding regarding the importance of strong lay leadership and the need for leadership that emerges from within congregations.

His unceasing commitment to Universalism led to his being a charter member of The Humiliati (the humble ones). The group, formed in 1945, "stressed that human beings are impelled, not compelled, by the power of God to fulfill the good potential of their lives. The impulse toward wholeness in humanity is predisposed to good, though it can be weakened or distorted by chaos and conflict. Authentic worship keeps it alive and restores its integrity.” By the time The Humiliati disbanded in 1954, Rev. McKeeman was elected as their lifetime Abbot. During the last few years of his life, Rev. McKeeman wistfully reflected upon being the last living member of The Humilati.

Rev. McKeeman belonged to the ministerial study group, The Fraters of the Wayside Inn. The group was founded by Universalist ministers in 1903 and succeeding the 1961 merger of Universalism and Unitarianism, expanded to include individuals ordained in the Unitarian ministry as well as those ordained in the new denomination. Rev. McKeeman advocated for the election of women into the group; in 1989, The Fraters’ membership expanded to include women. The Fraters of Wayside Inn was very important to Rev. McKeeman, and into the last few years of his life he treasured mementos and keepsakes he gathered during his years with the group.

Rev. McKeeman’s passion for ministry impacted innumerable lives. In the beloved meditation manual Out of the Ordinary: Meditations, he wrote:

Ministry is
a quality of relationship between and among
human beings
that beckons forth hidden possibilities.

Inviting people into deeper, more constant
more reverent relationship with the world
and with one another.

Carrying forward a long heritage of hope and
liberation that has dignified and informed
the human venture over many centuries.
Being present with, to, and for others
in their terrors and torments
in their grief, misery and pain.

Knowing that those feelings
are our feelings, too.

Celebrating the triumphs of the human spirit
the miracles of birth and life
the wonders of devotion and sacrifice.

Witnessing to life-enhancing values
speaking truth to power
standing for human dignity and equity
for compassion and aspiration.

Believing in life in the presence of death
struggling for human responsibility
against principalities and structures
that ignore humaneness and become
instruments of death.

It is all these and much, much more than all of
them, present in
the wordless
the unspoken
the ineffable.

It is speaking and living the highest we know
and living with the knowledge that it is
never as deep, or as wide
or a high as we wish.

Whenever there is a meeting
that summons us to our better selves, wherever
our lostness is found
our fragments are united
or our wounds begin healing
our spines stiffen and
our muscles grow strong for the task

There is ministry.

Gordon is survived by his loving wife of 69 years, Phyllis; sons, Bruce, Glenn, and Randall; four grandchildren; and sister, Gloria King. Gordon was preceded in death by his parents.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee or to the charity of donor's choice. To share a special memory or condolence, please visit http://www.ranfranzandvinefh.com/obits/obituary.php?id=417633

"We are lovers, we say Yes to each other. Yes to life—to more and more of life—to its brevity, its grief, its disappointments. To its possibilities, its magnificence, its glory. We quarrel—because we glimpse further possibilities, the non-sense—and wish to lay claim to it. We remember death, and that life is brief, and that the time for love is now and more is possible. One more step toward the holy. It is to know the peace that passes understanding and that there is no peace. It is to love others as they are, warts and all, and to believe that more is possible, and to bespeak that wanting. It is to pray "Give us this day our daily bread….” and to know that we do not live by bread alone. It is to remember death, and to love life and to accept them both as holy.”

The Reverend Gordon Butler "Bucky” McKeeman, Berry Street Lecture, 1993

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 
Page 16 of 30
 |<   <<   <  11  |  12  |  13  |  14  |  15  |  16  |  17  |  18  |  19  |  20  |  21  >   >>   >| 

Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210-1409
© 2020 Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association.