Highlights of my life and experience

Congregational leadership

JP_and_kids.jpgSince I began my ministry, I have served congregations of all sizes from emerging to small to mid-size and large. I’ve learned that every congregation, no matter how small or how large, has an important role in spreading our values into the larger world.

            • Senior Minister of First Unitarian Universalist in Richmond, Virginia, a congregation that since 2006, when I arrived, has grown by has grown 71%, adding almost 300 new members, including many dynamic young adults, making ours one of the fastest growing congregations in our Association
            • Minister of UU Fellowship of Central Oregon in Bend, Oregon
            • Growth Minister for the Pacific Northwest District
            • As a field experience while in seminary, I guided the emerging congregation of All Souls UU Fellowship of Lacey, Washington, to grow and affiliate with the UUA.

Denominational leadership

As a member of the UUA Board of Trustees, and as its Finance Chair, I developed an intimate knowledge of our governance and our organization that will allow me to hit the ground running as UUA President.Picture5.png

  • UUA Board Trustee at Large – 2009-2013
  • UUA Finance Chair – 2011-2013
  • Denominational leader working on sustainability of ministry, antiracism and stewardship
  • Dean of UU University Stewardship Track (with Rev. Cecilia Kingman), “Finding Our Common Wealth: Stewardship as Transformational Ministry.”

Public ministry

2014_Black_Lives_Matter_(3).JPGAs a Unitarian Universalist, I am called to do the work of justice, to protect our environment, and assure that people of all races, ethnicity, sexual orientations, gender identities, national origin, faith traditions, and abilities are afforded equity and opportunity.

            • Director of UU Legislative Ministries of Virginia
            • Requested community spokesperson to testify to the legislature and government officials for LGBTQI, youth and women’s rights
            • Member of the Metro Clergy for Rapid Transit team, which won a $54 million program grant to develop a transit system that offers equality of access, quality of life, environmental care, and economic development

Teaching

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I am a teaching pastor to numerous interns and student ministers, who are now serving congregations throughout the US. 

Identifying and nurturing the gifts of others is one of my favorite things and one that I take very seriously.

 

Business experience

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Before my call to ministry, I worked as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer with progressive growth companies in the automotive and coffee industries. In both industries, I led or helped lead the companies through fundamental cultural changes, focused on quality, teamwork and staff development.

 

 

 

Spiritual life

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Once a Catholic sister wishing to do pastoral ministry work, I was sustained by the contemplation and service of religious life filled with contemplation and work among the poor, sick, and lonely. Today, I begin most days with reading and contemplation…after I get my coffee, that is, because I believe that a grounded faith is essential to a growing faith.  

 

Family values

The eldest of seven children, I encountered the world through a lens of responsibility and shared endeavor. Mine was a family rich in love. "Go, do, be" was our informal family motto. I responded to that environment with a desire to experience new things and think big thoughts.

My partner, Regina Largent, and I have since engaged in much discussion and preparation abouIMG_1293.JPGt that which ministry asks of us as a family. Her support makes my dream possible. I believe we are prepared for the emotional, temporal, and financial demands of the work of UUA President. Gina, a retired Army officer, is an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Partners, (UUMPS) and an articulate advocate for thoughtful awareness of the role of ministerial spouse and partner.

We’ve have been together 23 years and were officially joined in a Vermont Civil Union in 2002, married in Canada in 2004, and finally recognized in 2014 as married in the USA. Regina is a leader of the UU Buddhist practice at First UU Richmond. Together, we enjoy women's college basketball, visiting with family, and time with friends.