Dear Starr King Friend,

My prayer this season is that through the holy darkness of winter's rest we will be renewed for the loving tasks of caring for the earth and for one another. This was the theme of Starr King's Symposium 2013, "Loving our Earth" held in August. Enclosed are two gifts for you: a montage of music and images showing the beauty and spirit of Symposium 2013 and a poem from me composed for the winter solstice, building on the Symposium's themes:  

A Winter Blessing 

In the shadowed quiet of winter's light

earth speaks softly

of her longing.

Because the wild places are in tears.


Come, she cries to us.

Kneel down here

on the frosty grass,

and feel the prayer buried in the ground.


Bend your ear to my heart

and listen hard.


Love this world, she whispers.

Distill peace from the snow

and water the cities

with mercy.


Weave wonder from the forest

and clothe grief

with beauty.  


Rest in the rhythm of the turning year,

Trace the bending arc

Rounding the curve toward justice.

And vow anew to do no harm.


The winter trees stand watch

haloed in the last gleams of the slanting sun.

Glory sings here.

Heaven echoes the call: 

Repeat the sounding joy.


Make your life an answer:




Symposium 2013 - Loving Our Earth
Symposium 2013 montage - Loving Our Earth (4:49)

    Symposium 2013 was just one of the ways that Starr King School for the Ministry is building a hopeful future.  Please consider making a year-end gift today from our secure donation page.

    One of our students captured her learning this way:  

"There is no individual salvation; there won't be winners and losers in this world. We're all in this life together and I believe it's our job as religious leaders to change people's hearts, to pull us out of our individual preoccupations and into community." 


-     Laurel Gray, SKSM M.Div. student

    Another noted:

"Through the Symposium, I learned that environmental justice hinges on our ability to acknowledge the interconnection of race and class inequalities with environmental injustices, the need for an economic and cultural paradigm shift and personal responsibility... Knowing this allows me to find my voice and use it to make a difference."


-     Amanda Weatherspoon, SKSM M.Div. Student


    And a graduate celebrated:

"Symposium was a much needed refresher in the prophetic love that embodied my Starr King experience as a student... I returned to my work and communities with a clearer sense of hope, and a renewed capacity to fiercely engage the world with love, for the liberation of all beings."


-     J. Tyson Casey, MASC grad, 2010
Collaborator at LeaderSpring, Rockwood Leadership Institute


    Your year-end gift in support of Starr King's mission to educate people for Unitarian Universalist ministry and progressive religious leadership for society will enable us to continue to inspire and educate the spiritual leaders who will bring more love, joy, compassion, justice and peace to the world.   

    For me, there is no greater priority than the education of our future religious leaders.  I warmly invite you to join me in a gift that honors their devotion to a life of  courageous love.

With abiding gratitude, 


Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker

President and Professor of Theology

Starr King School for the Ministry


P.S.  Many friends and graduates sent a special gift to the School this fall in honor of my 25 years as president.  I was deeply touched.  Thank you!   I will conclude my service at the end of June 2014.  The search for Starr King's next president is underway.  If you would like to recommend someone or, or are interested in applying, you will find the information on our website Presidential Search page: www.sksm.edu/search



P.S.  The School is ever appreciative of gifts. You can make a gift online right now  Click here to make a secure online donation. 

Donations by check may be mailed to:

Starr King School for the Ministry
2441 Le Conte Ave., Berkeley, CA 94709-1209
Attn: Federico Pacheco, Advancement Director

Educating Unitarian Universalist ministers and progressive religious leaders for society since 1904. 


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starr king is a member school of the graduate theological union
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