During Rev. Jennifer’s February – July sabbatical, we have an exciting line-up of pulpit guests offering new perspectives and wisdom from leaders in Unitarian Universalist thought and action.
March 26, our first pulpit guest, Rev. Shari Halliday-Quan, joins us. Rev. Halliday-Quan is the Senior Minister of the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, where she has been leading creative collaboration between the two Rochester UU congregations and the Black Lives Matter movement. Rev. Halliday-Quan is also a leading thinker in preparing our congregations to face a climate-changed future.
April 2, we will be blessed by a visit from Rev. Dr. Sofia Betancourt, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Presidential Search Committee’s candidate for President of the UUA. Rev. Dr. Betancourt’s priorities are communal care, collaborative leadership, and facing the unknown together. In 2017, she served as Interim Co-President of the Unitarian Universalist Association alongside the Rev. Bill Sinkford and Dr. Leon Spencer.
April 23, our own Marisa Riepenhoff will be joined by Matt Meyer to lead an Earth Day service. Matt is a musician, worship leader, and lifelong Unitarian Universalist who has led hundreds of services for UU congregations across the country. He has a degree in hand drumming and serves as Director of Community Life for Sanctuary Boston, and has performed with Ysaye Barnwell (of Sweet Honey in the Rock), Pete Seeger, Emma’s Revolution, and Peter Mayer, among others. First Church Choral Director Tristan Strelitzer will be working with Matt to develop a music workshop at First Church the weekend Matt is here.
Rev. Ashley Horan, the Organizing Strategy Director for the UUA, will visit us on April 30 from Minneapolis. At the UUA, Rev. Horan leads the team of all outward facing justice ministries under the banner “Side With Love,” which includes UU the Vote, Create Climate Justice, Love Resists, and UPLIFT – LGBTQ, Gender, & Reproductive Justice Ministries.
In May we will meet Rev. Manish Mishra-Marzetti who serves as Senior Minister of the First UU Congregation of Ann Arbor, MI. He has served extensively in UU leadership as a member of the UUA Board of Trustees and as President of DRUUMM (our organization for UU people of color), and has published a number of Unitarian Universalist books, including Conversations with the Sacred: A Collection of Prayers (2020) and the 2018-2019 UUA common read, Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and the Environment, which he co-edited with Rev. Jennifer Nordstrom.
Also in May, Rev. Hannah Roberts Villnave will join us from the Fox Valley UU Fellowship in Appleton, WI where she serves as Assistant Minister. Rev. Hannah is at the forefront of queering theology, activism, and preaching.
Then in June, Rev. Tony Larsen will join us from Unitarian Church North in Mequon. Rev. Larsen served as minister of Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church in Racine, Wisconsin for more than 42 years.
Eric Heilig, Sabbatical Committee Chair