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In Memory of . . . Virginia P. Knowles (1924-2011)

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Rev. Dr. Virginia Perin Knowles died on January 23, 2011 after a long decline. She was 87 years old.  Rev. Knowles was born in Washington, D.C., on January 10, 1924 to Bernard K. Perin and Virginia Protzman Perin. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1945 with a BA in Liberal Arts, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1948 with an MA in International Affairs, University of Chicago in 1976 with a Masters of Divinity and Meadville Lombard Theological School in 1979 with a Doctor of Ministry degree. She also studied at the Sorbonne and the University of Mexico during the 1940’s.

She served as the Director of Religious Education at Mt. Vernon Unitarian Church in Alexandria, VA and at Beverly Unitarian Church in Chicago, IL. Upon completion of her theological studies, she was called as minister to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Redwood City, CA. Following her time spent in Redwood City, she served as interim minister at both the Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana Champaign in Urbana, IL and the First Unitarian Church of Louisville, KY. Rev. Knowles was next called to State College, PA where she served as minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County. Following this period, she served as interim minister at the First Universalist Church of Rochester in Rochester, NY, the Unitarian Church North in Mequon, WI, and finally at Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church in Adelphi, MD until 1992 at which time she retired from full-time ministry. Following retirement she served as a consulting minister at the First Unitarian Church in Lynchburg, VA. She served on the governing boards of various denominational organizations over the years including the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office, UU Collegium, and UU’s for Social Justice in the DC region.

Prior to her ministry, Rev. Knowles worked in Paris for the U.S. Foreign Service and was subsequently accepted, along with a small group of other women, into an exalted and predominantly male program at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Upon completion, she was recruited by the newly organized CIA to work with refugees and ex-patriots from Eastern Europe. Her husband at the time, Ed Knowles, worked alongside her at the CIA. While stationed in Munich she gave birth to twins, one of whom was learning disabled as a result of a brain injury. The twins were soon followed by the birth of another child, Jeffrey. While her children were young, she began working as Director of Religious Education and Assistant to the Minister at the First Parish in Cambridge, MA. With money being scarce for the newly divorced mother of three, she took a more lucrative position with the Office (now Department) of Education as an international specialist. Eight years later with her children grown, and upon the advent of what she, and others, termed "women’s lib” she made the decision to rethink her life plans and enter the ministry, once again choosing a path that few women had traversed. Rev. Knowles, when writing in 1975 of her decision to enter the ministry, asked herself what in life gave her the most lasting satisfaction. Her answer follows: "Developing ideas which give some coherence to life in this galaxy, realizing again with companions of all ages that our work in a common cause can sometimes make a difference, discovering that I can inspire friends to try new ways or see some light through darkness, these are for me what make life worth living. Most fulfilling of all I find sharing with my fellows the awesome variety and depth of ways we cope with being human on this earth.”

Rev. Knowles is survived by her children Edward Christopher "Kit” Knowles and Katherine Perin Knowles of Tucson, AZ. Her youngest son, Jeffrey Knowles, died in 2007 at the age of 56.

A service to celebrate the life of Rev. Dr. Virginia P. Knowles was held on Sunday, March 6, at Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church of Adelphi, MD where she was a member. Rev. Diane Teichert officiated at the memorial service.

Please send messages of condolence to family friend, Marge Owens, 119 Northway, Greenbelt, MD 20770.

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In Memory of . . . James D. Hunt (1931-2011)

Posted By Janette M. Lallier, Monday, February 28, 2011

The Rev. Dr. James D. Hunt died on January 12, 2011. He was 79 years old.  Dr. Hunt was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 28, 1931, to Richard and Elizabeth D. Hunt. He later became stepson to John L. Daneker. Dr. Hunt graduated from East Greenwich, R.I. High School in 1948, Tufts College in 1952, and Boston University in 1958 upon receiving his Masters of Theology. He earned a Ph.D. from Syracuse University in 1965. His thesis was "James Luther Adams and his Demand for an Effective Religious Liberalism.”

He served as Associate Minister at Medford Hillside Universalist Church in Medford, MA, and Assistant Minister at Rockport Universalist Church in Rockport, MA, before being called to Acton Community University Church of South Acton, MA, where he served from 1954-1958 and where he was ordained in 1955. He also served as an Interim Minister for a summer at Blanchester Universalist Church in Blanchester, OH, and later as Minister of Cortland Universalist Church in Cortland, NY, from 1958-1961. In addition, he served at the First Unitarian Society of Albany, NY while a doctoral student.

Dr. Hunt made the decision to leave active ministry and devote his full attention to his academic pursuits in 1961. While earning his Ph.D. at Syracuse, he joined the faculty of the Dept. of Religion. After receiving his doctorate, Hunt joined the faculty of Tufts School of Religion - Crane Theological School in 1965. Upon its closure in 1968, Dr. Hunt found his ultimate and permanent home at Shaw University in Raleigh, NC, through a civil rights era program that placed white professors at predominantly black colleges in the South.

For almost 30 years he was a Professor of Ethics and Religion at Shaw University. He had a passion for fairness and justice, which led him to study the philosophies of Mohandas K. Gandhi. He published four books on Mahatma Gandhi; Gandhi’s own grandson, Gopal Gandhi, noted Dr. Hunt’s ability to write and speak on Gandhi in an objective way. Hunt, like Gandhi, was an ardent proponent of non-violent protest. He was an activist for social change throughout the course of his life, from his engagement in the Civil Rights Movement through his struggle to put an end to the death penalty. Hunt was involved with Amnesty International, ACLU, Witness for Peace, Peace Action, CITCA, People of Faith against the Death Penalty, and the Congress of Racial Equality. His passions also extended to cycling, reading, hiking, folk dancing, playing the recorder, singing, travel and of course, his family.

Dr. Hunt is survived by his wife Jane (Henry) Hunt and his children, their partners, and his grandchildren - Sarah, Bob and Rivers; Nathan, Dove, Hannele and Pascal; Priscilla, Doug, Tasker and Owen; Jennifer, Marty, Caleb, Zachary and Hannah. Along with Jane, they are most grateful for his life.

A celebration of the life of Dr. James D. Hunt was held on Friday, February 18, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh, NC. Contributions can be made to the Memorial Fund of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 3313 Wade Ave., Raleigh, NC 27606.

Please send messages of condolence to Jane Hunt, 120 Pineland Cir, Raleigh, NC 27606-1313.

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In Memory of . . . Robert F. Kaufmann

Posted By Janette M. Lallier, Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Updated: Monday, February 28, 2011

The Rev. Dr. Robert F. Kaufmann died on December 21, 2010 of bone cancer. Dr. Kaufmann was 89 years old.

Dr. Kaufmann was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 24, 1921, to Melvin and Vera Kaufmann. In 1970, at the age of 48, he received his M.Div. from Starr King School. He earned a Ph.D. in Psychology from United States International University in 1975.

He was called to the Emerson Unitarian Church in Canoga Park, CA, serving from 1969 to 1973, and was ordained there in 1970. In 1973, he was called to the Throop UU Church in Pasadena, CA, serving until 1985.

Dr. Kaufmann then began a series of interim ministries that spanned many years. He served at the following churches: Unitarian Church of Auckland, New Zealand; the Unitarian Church of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia; Fourth Universalist Society, New York, NY; UU Congregation of Columbia, MD; UU Church of Long Beach, CA; UU Church of Studio City, CA; East Shore Unitarian Church, Bellevue, WA; First Unitarian Church, Berkeley, CA; UU Fellowship of Boca Raton, FL; First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, MN; New York Society for Ethical Culture; First UU Congregation of the Palm Beaches, FL; and UUs of San Mateo, CA. Many of these interim ministries resulted in substantial increases in attendance, membership, and pledging. The Long Beach congregation named him Minister Emeritus in 1991 in recognition of his accomplishments as their interim.

Dr. Kaufmann served the denomination as President and Good Officer of the Pacific Southwest Chapter of the UU Ministers Association. He also served on the Advisory Council for Accredited Interim Ministers. "Bob Kaufmann’s Mad World,” a satirical news column published in UU World among other papers, was named the nation’s best in the Variety of Topics category by the National Newspaper Association in 1968.

Active at the local and national level in numerous organizations, Dr. Kaufmann chaired the Board of the Southern California Urban Coalition and was president of the Pasadena Chapter of ACLU. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Pasadena NAACP; the National Committee on Prevention & Control of Delinquency, I. A. C. P; and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. He received the Distinguished Community Service Award from the National Urban Coalition. Most recently, Dr. Kaufmann presided over The Ethical Community Charter School Foundation, an organization which opened two charter schools in Fall 2009.

Prior to studying for the ministry, Dr. Kaufmann worked in a variety of professions - business, finance, journalism, television, public relations, and construction. He wrote for the Alan Young Show and recorded a comedy album for Decca Records, "A Trip Through A Blown Mind.” His poetry has appeared in several anthologies and recently he self-published "I Love You, I Think, Or I Would If I Knew What It Meant: 27 Chapters of Wit & Wisdom on Life, Laughter, and Love.” (

Dr. Kaufmann is survived by his wife Arlene; his daughter, Susan Kaufmann of Bellevue, WA; his son, Richard Kaufmann, and daughter-in-law, Pamela Kaufmann of San Diego, CA; a grandson, Robert Kendrick, and granddaughter, Dana Kendrick, both of Bellevue, WA.

A celebration of the life of Dr. Robert Kaufmann will be held on Sunday, January 23, at 2:00 p.m. at East Shore Unitarian Church, 12700 Southeast 32nd Street, Bellevue, WA. A reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, you may donate to The Ethical Culture Charter School Foundation (TECCS) at,or by sending a check to: Dr. Judith D. Wallach, Vice President, 101 Central Park West, 1A, New York, NY 10023-4250.

Please send messages of condolence to Arlene Kaufmann, 401 – 100th Ave. NE #326, Bellevue, WA 98004.

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In Memory ... Mary J. Harrington (1952-2010)

Posted By Janette M. Lallier, Monday, November 1, 2010

The Rev. Dr. Mary J. Harrington died at home in Sheepscot, Maine, on October 26, 2010, after a courageous struggle with ALS. Her husband and children were with her and her passing was peaceful. She was 58 years old.

Rev. Harrington was born on January 2, 1952 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the oldest of six children. She attended Middlebury College and graduated, in 1974, from
William James College of Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan with a BS in Social Ethics and Social Relations.

She served as executive director and consultant to numerous non-profit organizations including executive director of Home Hospice of Sonoma County, one of the first hospice programs in the United States.

In 1995, Rev. Harrington received her M. Div. from Starr King School for the Ministry. After graduation, she was ordained jointly by the First UU Church of San Francisco and the UU Congregation of Santa Rosa. She served the Santa Rosa church for a year and a half and as Interim for First UU Church of Houston before being called to the UU Church of Marblehead, Massachusetts in 1998. In 2004, she was called to the Winchester Unitarian Society, Winchester, Massachusetts and served for two years until retiring due to her illness. In 2007, the Winchester congregation named her Minister Emerita.

Rev. Harrington participated in denominational activities throughout her years in ministry. She was an active member of the Massachusetts Bay chapter of the UU Ministers Association serving as vice president for programs. As a member of the Greenfield Group, a clergy study group, she held the position of moderator. In 2005, in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Rev. Harrington was moved to co-found and serve as president of Gulf Coast Volunteers for the Long Haul, an all-volunteer organization with the "commitment to keep returning until residents there have been able to put their homes, schools and communities back together.” Rev. Harrington led 14 trips to the area, many from a wheelchair.

At the invitation of then UUA president Bill Sinkford, Rev. Harrington delivered the sermon at the Service of the Living Tradition at the 2009 General Assembly in Salt Lake City. Her sermon was called "A Lifetime Isn’t Long Enough.” Rev. Harrington wrote an online journal, Duck Dreams, and with the help of her scribes, her final entry was made just two days before her death.

In 2009 Rev. Harrington was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Sacred Theology from Starr King for "her outstanding service as a parish minister and her inspiring leadership as president of Gulf Coast Volunteers for the Long Haul.”

On the Starr King Facebook page, her friend and colleague, Rebecca Parker, posted "
Mary was a splendid preacher and writer; a quiet, persistent and wise advocate for compassion, justice, and common sense; ever and always a tough and loving witness for life.”

Rev. Harrington is survived by her beloved husband of 30 years, Martin Teitel, of Sheepscot ME; her children, Julia Teitel of Malden, MA, and Samuel Teitel of Sheepscot, ME; stepson, Jason Teitel of Berkeley, CA; her five siblings Terry, John, Douglas, Scott and Sarah; as well as numerous beloved cousins, nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Reverend Mary J. Harrington Fund of Gulf Coast Volunteers for the Long Haul, 478 Main Street, Winchester MA 01890.
Notes of condolence may be sent to Marty, Jason, Julia, and Sam Teitel, at 657 Sheepscot Rd, Newcastle, ME 04553 or by visiting

A service in celebration of the Rev. Dr. Mary J. Harrington’s life will be held at 11:00 am on Monday, November 8, at the Winchester Unitarian Church, 478 Main Street, Winchester MA 01890. More information about the service is available at

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In Memory... Nancy J. Haley (1944-2010)

Posted By Janette M. Lallier, Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Reverend Nancy J. Haley died on August 27, 2010. Rev. Haley was 66 years old. Rev. Haley was born on July 12, 1944, in Rapid City, South Dakota, to Joseph Milton Pearl Shaver and Inez Lenore Shaver. She earned degrees from the University of Minnesota - a Bachelor of Arts in English and German Literature in 1966 and a Master of Arts in Theater & Costume Design in 1970.

For 10 years, Rev. Haley taught English as a Second Language for the Minneapolis Public Schools. She was a free lance writer and a film and video producer for nearly 25 years. Among her many productions was the 42 minute film, "Great Branches, New Roots: The Hmong Family" (1981) which documented the Hmong refugees’ concept of family, its structure, and its role in their survival in the Twin Cities.

She also wrote, produced, and directed on such varied topics as cultural awareness for tutors of English as a Second Language; living with disabilities; juror responsibilities; and how to take the bus for non-speakers of English. In addition, she filmed sessions for the Minnesota State Legislature from 1989 to 1992.

While a member of Unity Church Unitarian in St. Paul, Ms. Haley created Images for Our Lives, a series of videotapes for children that supplemented a religious education curriculum.

In March 1996, Rev. Haley received her M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School and was ordained the following September at Unity Church Unitarian in St. Paul, Minnesota. She was Interim Minister to the Third Unitarian Church of Chicago for one year before being called to the UU Society of Iowa City, where she served until 2009. She was Interim to the Second Unitarian Church of Omaha from 2009 – 2010.

Rev. Haley was active in the Prairie Star District, serving on the board from 2002 to 2008; the Chalice Lighters Committee from 2008-09; and the Nominating Committee from 2009-10. David Leppik, one of her PSD Board colleagues said about her, "She was always lively, thoughtful and thought-provoking. When we got mired in budget debates and fears about funding, she would dare us to dream big: that if our services were valued, they would find funding. And she was right.”

Rev. Haley is survived by her loving partner of 21 years, Tom Johnson; son, John Haley (Monica Singh) of Los Angeles; daughter, Joanna Haley of Chicago; sisters, Marcia Houk (Garry Neiderworder) & Peggy Nielsen (Scott); nephew, Josh Houk (Lisa); nieces, Stephanie & Amanda Nielsen, all of Rapid City; loved ones, Melissa (Greg) Zeleny of West Saint Paul & grandchildren, Asha & Keira Haley, Quinn, Hayden & Birk Zeleny.

A service of remembrance was held at Unity Church Unitarian in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Memorial contributions may be made to the Dahl Museum, Attn. Kathi Maxon, 713 7th Street, Rapid City, South Dakota 57701.

Please send notes of condolence to Tom Johnson, 1510 Red Cedar Road, Eagan, MN 55121.

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In Memory... Brandoch "Brandy" L. Lovely (1928 - 2010)

Posted By Janette M. Lallier, Monday, October 11, 2010

It is with a sense of loss that the Ministries and Faith Development staff group informs you of the death of the Reverend Dr. Brandoch L. Lovely. He died of cancer on September 29, 2010, at home with his family by his side. Dr. Lovely was 82 years old.

He was born on June 16, 1928 in Rhode Island to Doris Lewis and Napoleon William Lovely, a Unitarian minister. After graduating from Proctor Academy in Andover, NH, in 1946, he enlisted in the Army and served two years in the Transportation Corp. He graduated from Harvard in 1952 with a major in American History and Literature and attended Harvard Divinity School, graduating in 1954. While at Harvard, he worked as Religious Education director for the Winchester Unitarian Church and the West Newton Unitarian Church, both in Massachusetts.

After graduation, he briefly served the First Religious Society of Carlisle, MA, where he was ordained in 1954. He then served the Unitarian Church of Reading, MA; the First Unitarian Church of Austin, TX; the First Parish Old Ship Church in Hingham, MA; and the UU Neighborhood Church in Pasadena, CA.

In Austin, under Dr. Lovely’s leadership, the congregation built their first church building. After serving the Neighborhood Church from 1969 to 1993 the congregation named him Minister Emeritus. The following year, he was awarded Doctor of Theological Studies from Starr King Theological School.

Dr. Lovely also served several churches as interim minister including the Orange Coast UU Church, Costa Mesa, CA; Emerson Unitarian Church, Canoga Park, CA; the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, CA; and the UU Church, Riverside, CA.

Active in denominational affairs throughout his ministry, in 1974 Dr. Lovely chaired a continental convocation of UU ministers, the first such gathering to be held in over twenty years. He served as UUMA president, 1982-1985, and on the UUA Nominating Committee, 1992-1995. He also served for eight years as the ministerial settlement director for the Pacific Southwest District. In 1979, Dr. Lovely delivered the Service of the Living Tradition sermon, "The Intentional Community.” He was active in the ACLU and in 1965 he was elected president of the newly-founded Central Texas affiliate. He is the author of A Machiavellian View of the Ministry: A Guide for Professional Leaders of Voluntary Organizations.

Dr. Lovely is survived by his wife of 42 years, Judith Howerton Lovely; their children, Marcus Lovely and Amanda Wheeler, both of San Diego, Ann Kenney Magno, (her husband Phillip is deceased) of Pasadena, John H. Kenney (Yanett) of Orinda, CA, Clifford W. Kenney (Amy) of South Pasadena, CA, and Channing Lovely of Denver, CO. His daughter, Deborah Lovely, predeceased him. He is also survived by his brother, UU Minister Rev. Dr. Rupert L. Lovely (Patricia) of Milwaukee; his sister, Alicia Lovely (Carol) of New York City; and thirteen grandchildren.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday, October 9, at 4:00 p.m. at Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church, 301 N. Orange Grove Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91103. The Reverend Jim Nelson will officiate.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Judith Lovely, 621 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106-3813.

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Rev. Dr. Árpád Szabó 1935-2010

Posted By Janette M. Lallier, Friday, October 1, 2010

The Consistory of the Transylvanian Unitarian Church announces with deep sorrow the decease of its retired leader, Rev. Dr. Árpád Szabó, the 30th bishop of the Transylvanian Unitarian Church, who passed away on 30 September 2010, at the age of 76, following a year of hard illness endured with dignity and good faith.

During his lifetime he worked to promote the fulfilment of the centuries-old, historic mission of the Unitarian church, and served its needs with devoted enthusiasm, at convenient and inconvenient times. "Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid!” he preached the gospel of Jesus: the experience of God’s provident love, the responsible vocation of the Christian people, and the preserving power of a religious community.

He was born in 1935 in an ancient Unitarian village along the valley of the Homoród, and he studied in Városfalva, Székelykeresztúr and Kolozsvár, where he obtained his ministerial degree between 1953-1957. He started his career in the church as a secretary to the bishop between 1958-1965, later as the minister of the downtown Kolozsvár congregation between 1965-1976. In 1974 he became the professor of Unitarian biblical theology at the Protestant Theological Institute, and in 1977-1978, the scholarship holder of the Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago. In 1996 the Synod elected him as the 30th bishop of the church, reinforcing his title in 2002. He retired in 2008, after half of a century of church service.

The first part of his service passed in a period of great tribulations in church history, while the second part fell in times of opened perspectives. He fulfilled his mission with responsibility and commitment in both periods. As a minister, he called the attention of his parishioners upon the providing care of God and His power to preserve the community. As a teacher, he worked for the aim of passing on his knowledge in theological science and the vocation of ministry to the young generations. As a bishop, he sought to find orientation among newly appearing opportunities, and urged the spiritual and financial strengthening of the church. His attention was also extended on intellectual needs: by his own example, he encouraged the pursuance of theological sciences and literature, and the editing of church periodicals. The restarting of the denominational schools and their development into quality educational institutions, the strengthening of the church institutions, the constructions of new church buildings, and the promotion of international relations are all good evidence for his devoted, conscious, responsible service.

His funeral service will take place on Monday, the 4th of October 2010, at the Unitarian church of downtown Kolozsvár, from where he will be accompanied to the cemetery of Házsongárd.

May his memory be blessed!

Kolozsvár, 30 September 2010. The Consistory of the Transylvanian Unitarian Church

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In Memory... Jean Cook Brown (1936 - 2010)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, September 30, 2010
JEAN COOK BROWN (1936 - 2010)

It is with a sense of loss that the Ministries and Faith Development
staff group informs you of the death of the Reverend Jean Cook Brown.
She died on August 17, 2010 at Avery Heights Assisted Living Facility in
Hartford, CT.  Her death was peaceful and her children were beside her.
Rev. Brown was 74 years old.

Rev. Brown was born on September 21, 1936 in Manchester, CT, to Aaron
Cook and Elizabeth LeShay Cook.  She graduated from Connecticut College
in 1958 with an economics degree and from the University of Hartford
with a Masters in Education in 1964.

While teaching third grade at the Roaring Brook School in Avon, CT, she
attended the UU Church of West Hartford where she had been married.  She
volunteered as a Sunday school teacher and thus began five decades of
dedicated service to the congregation.  As her involvement in the church
- especially in the Religious Education program - grew, it led to her
employment in 1973 as Assistant to the Minister and then as the Director
of Religious Education.

As Director of Religious Education, Rev. Brown created and led many
programs for children and their families, including weekend family
retreats.  She especially enjoyed inviting the children to slumber
parties at the church as "a way for them to feel that the church was
their home.”  Under Rev. Brown’s leadership, the religious education
program grew from 70 to more than 300 children.

Rev. Brown’s commitment to the church continued to grow and deepen.  She
broadened her involvement with the church by preaching and providing
pastoral care and she began to think about the ministry.  She enrolled
in the Independent Study Program of the UUA, graduating in 1992.  She
also earned her Masters of Religious Studies from Hartford Seminary in
the same year.  In 1993, she was ordained and called by the West
Hartford congregation to be their first Minister of Religious Education.
She served in that capacity until 2004, when she became part-time
Minister for Pastoral Care so she could spend more time with her
husband.  She retired in 2008 and was named Minister Emerita the
following year.

Rev. Brown provided leadership to other UU churches through her
involvement with the RE Team of the UUMA Connecticut Valley District.
She chaired that group for a number of years.  She also volunteered at
Prudence Crandell Women’s Center for victims of domestic violence.

Rev. Jan Nielsen, current minister in West Hartford, wrote in a letter
to the congregation, "Throughout her service to our congregation, Jean
ministered with thoughtfulness and creativity and she was a warm and
vital pastoral presence to people of all ages.”

Survivors include her husband, James Cashel Brown; her children,
Christopher Lyman Brown of Los Angeles, Roger Lindsey Brown of Hartford,
and Bettina Ann Brown of Cape Cod.  She also leaves her sisters,
Elizabeth Gabel and Amory Stansfield and her sister-in-law, Patricia

Donations in honor of Rev. Brown may be made to the Commemorative Fund
of the Universalist Church, 433 Fern Street, West Hartford, CT 06107.
Funds will be used to restore Rev. Brown’s favorite stained glass
window, the Good Shepherd.

A Service to celebrate the life of Rev. Brown was held at the
Universalist Church of West Hartford, CT.  Please send notes of
condolence to Rev. Brown’s children c/o Universalist Church of West
Hartford, 433 Fern Street, West Hartford, CT 06107-2002.

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In Memory... Paul W. Sawyer (1934 - 2010)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, September 30, 2010

PAUL W. SAWYER (1934 - 2010)


It is with a sense of loss that the Ministries and Faith Development Staff Group informs you of the death of the Reverend Paul W. Sawyer.  He died on June 23, 2010, at home in Pasadena, CA.  His death was peaceful and his wife, Susan, was beside him.  Rev. Sawyer was 75 years old.


Born on June 27, 1934, in Lynn, Massachusetts, to Alan F. and Ruth E. Anthony Sawyer, Rev. Sawyer graduated from Philips Andover Academy in 1953, Harvard in 1955, and Starr King School for the Ministry in 1958.  His first church was in Van Nuys, CA.  While there he led the effort to build a new sanctuary.  He enlisted the UU architect, Frank Ehrenthal, and the result was "the onion,” a distinctive bulbous-shaped building erected in North Hills, CA, for the Sepulveda UU Society.


In 1967 he began what he called "a unique, self-organized, continent-wide teaching and preaching, community organizing ministry.”  In Seattle, he led the Free University and was involved with a group that published a weekly underground newspaper, The Helix, and established an annual art festival (the Bumbershoot festival) still held today.  In 1969, he joined the faculty of Starr King School where he taught UU history as well as American and Chinese cultural studies.  This affiliation continued for more than 20 years.  He offered seminars and workshops throughout the country on arts and religion, worship and ritual, and poetry; and he worked as a street minister for the Berkeley Emergency Food Project. He produced a film to celebrate the 200th anniversary of John Murray’s arrival in America which was shown at General Assembly in 1970.


Rev. Sawyer was known for peace and social justice work throughout his life.  He was among the many UU ministers who answered the call from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to join him in Selma in 1965 to march for civil rights. In 1977, he was called to serve the Berkeley Fellowship and remained there for 16 years.  While there, he involved himself in the work of the Livermore Action Group, a peace and anti-nuclear movement; the Sanctuary Movement for Central American refugees; and the Inter-Faith Middle East Peace Group, among others.  He was arrested more than 60 times over the course of his lifetime, including for blocking the gates of San Quentin prison in protest of California’s death penalty.


Rev. Sawyer traveled to China, Japan, the Ukraine, and the former Soviet Union. He was appointed in 1993 by UUA President, William Schulz, as emissary to Russia and the Ukraine.  With his wife, Susan, and accompanied by their son, Alexander, he worked with a group of local residents to establish UU fellowships in Moscow and St. Petersburg.


The author of several books of poetry, he also wrote the essay on worship for the 1963 edition of the UU Pocket Guide.  Rev. Sawyer published his final book, "Untold Story: A Short Narrative History of Our Time,” two months before his death.


Rev. Sawyer also served the Shoreline Unitarian Church in Shoreline, WA; the UU Congregation in Salem, OR; UU Church of the North Hills, Pittsburgh, PA; First Unitarian Society of Plainfield, NJ; Throop UU Church in Pasadena, CA; Monte Vista UU Congregation, Montclair, CA; and the UU Fellowship in Chico, CA.  The Throop congregation named him minister emeritus.  He delivered his last sermon from his wheelchair at the Sepulveda UU Society just three days before his death.


Rev. Sawyer is survived by his wife, Susan Sawyer, and his children, Sharlyn, Shanda, Katherine, Adam, and Alexander; a brother, Alan, and a sister, Charlotte Lacey.


A memorial service is planned for 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 25, 2010, at the Sepulveda UU Society, 9550 Haskell Ave. North Hills, California 91343.  Please send notes of condolence to Susan Sawyer, 1500 N. Chester Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91104.

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In Memory... Charles A. Howe (1922 - 2010)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Tuesday, August 17, 2010
It is with a sense of loss that the Ministries and Faith Development staff group informs you of the death of the Reverend Dr. Charles A. Howe.  He died on Tuesday, August 10, 2010.  Rev. Howe was 88 years old. 

Rev. Howe was born on May 4, 1922, in Utica, NY, to Raymond Miller Howe and Ethel Louise Williams.  He attended the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, earning his AB in chemistry in 1943.  He enlisted in the US Marine Corp and served for three years in the Pacific Theater during WWII.  After the war he returned to UNC earning his MA in 1949 and his PhD in 1951, both in chemistry. 

He worked for Merck & Co for five years where he developed techniques to synthesize riboflavin, earning several patents for his work.  He left Merck to teach, joining the faculty of Clarkson College in Potsdam, NY.  While in Potsdam, Rev. Howe and his family became active members of the Universalist Church in Canton, NY.  During his time there, he served as church school teacher, worship leader, and moderator.  As his commitment to the church grew during those years, he sought a more active role for himself by pursuing the ministry. He attended Meadville Lombard Theological Seminary, earning his BDiv in 1966.  He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Divinity in 1996.  

After graduation, he was called to the First Unitarian Church of Austin, TX, and ordained there in 1966.  He was subsequently called to the First Universalist Church of Syracuse, NY; the Wilmington UU Fellowship, Wilmington, NC; and the UU Church of Kinston, NC.  He was named minister emeritus by the Wilmington, NC, congregation.  He served several additional churches as Interim Minister: the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church in Charlottesville, VA; the Fourth Universalist Society in New York City; and the UU Fellowship in Gainesville, FL.  After his retirement, he was a member of the Community Church of Chapel Hill, UU, in Chapel Hill, NC, and the UU Fellowship of Raleigh, NC. 

He was a member of the Commission on Appraisal from 1989 – 95 and of the UU Historical Society.  For the Society, he wrote numerous articles for the Dictionary of Unitarian & Universalist Biography.  He also wrote The Larger Faith: A Short History of American Universalism; For Faith and Freedom: A Short History of Unitarianism in Europe; and The Essential Clarence Skinner: A Brief Introduction to His Life and Writings, all published by Skinner House.  Rev. Howe was active with People of Faith Against the Death Penalty and was a lifelong advocate for social justice.

Rev. Howe is survived by his wife, Ann Clark Howe; his children, Judith Louise Howe (Robert Harangozo,) Marjorie Ann Howe Chenery (Peter Chenery,) David Darrow Howe; and his grandchildren, Patricia Elizabeth Chenery, Sarah Watters Howe, Nora Isabel Howe, and Caroline Howe Harangozo, as well as several nieces and nephews. 

A celebration of the life of Rev. Howe took place at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh, NC.  Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Southern Poverty Law Center or the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. 

Please send messages of condolence to Ann Howe, 1811 Park Drive, Raleigh, NC 27605-1612.

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