1999 Starr King Graduate
Prud'homme has served as Interim Minister of Religious Education in two area churches and Lifespan Religious Education Consultant to the Pacific Central District. With support from the Fund for Unitarian Universalism, she's currently developing a curriculum funded for Chalice Camp, a summer day program for elementary age children. Considered a Unitarian Universalist version of vacation Bible school, the curriculum focuses on the foundations of Unitarian Universalist theology and its history in the U.S. as well as identity and justice. Prud'homme is an associate faculty member at Starr King School.
As early as I can remember, I was a religious seeker. But it was not until a friend in college told me about being raised Unitarian Universalist that I found my religious home. Shortly thereafter my skills and interests led me to consider ministry as a vocation. Following the advice of my campus chaplain at Colorado College, who suggested I wait a few years, I pursued other work in the non-profit sector and in education in Oakland, Calif. During this time, I became clear that the secular nature of my work was not enough for me. I wanted my life's work to be shaped and influenced by a seminary education and carried out within the context of Unitarian Universalist ministry.
At Starr King, I appreciated the way the school embodied its educational philosophy. The faculty took time to get to know the specificity of each of us as students - our particular backgrounds, skills, growing edges, hopes and passions; and from that place of being known, we were encouraged on our paths of growth and learning. In Parker Palmer's sense of "to know as we are known," how I was taught at Starr King has informed how I teach and minister in the world. I have seen this in my colleagues as well.
There were many formative courses for me. Dody Donnelly's class in spiritual direction helped me understand what spirituality is and what possibilities are for accompanying someone on the spiritual journey. Joanna Macy's Spiritual Ground for World Engagement course gave me words for deeply-held intuitions about the paradigm shift that needs to happen for sentient life to continue on the planet. She also gave me tools for helping other people tap into their desire for a more just, compassionate and sustainable future. Ron Cook fueled my interest in Unitarian Universalist history. Patti Lawrence offered practical and useful coursework in congregational growth. Clare Fisher introduced me to the field of ethics. Rebecca Parker taught a course called Public Thinking that offered an exciting experience of undertaking an intellectual and theological project as a group. Conversations with my advisor, Yeilbonzie, and with Rebecca had a huge impact in helping me learn from the many growth opportunities that continually presented themselves during my seminary, CPE and internship experiences.
Having the opportunity to return to Starr King as an associate faculty member has been rewarding for me. I have taught two practical classes in religious education and ministry with children and youth. The students who have taken my classes have been thoughtful, creative, intelligent and hard working. I look forward to witnessing how their leadership impacts our religious movement in the years to come.
For now, much of my life energy is joyfully spent attending to my new baby daughter. Developing the Chalice Camp curriculums provides a challenging and rich way of contributing to the potential of Unitarian Universalism to become the next major world religion. Just take a moment to imagine what if ?
Rob Eller Isaacs
Mary Ann Maggiore
Judith Brown Osgood