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SKSM Board Announces Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt as next President of Starr King School for the Ministry

To the Starr King School for the Ministry Community,

Rev. McNattOn behalf of the Board of Trustees of Starr King School for the Ministry, I am delighted to announce that the next president of Starr King will be the Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt.

Rev. McNatt has been the senior minister of Fourth Universalist Society in New York City since 2001.   She served on the Starr King Board of Trustees from 1992 to 1999 and was Board Chair from 1999 to 2001.  She has also served on the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Board of Trustees 2007-2009, the UUA Panel on Theological Education 2001-2007, and was a founding member of the Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Network and of Disaster Chaplaincy Services-New York, 2004-Present.

Rev. McNatt brings unique and powerful gifts as a preacher, activist, memoirist, journalist, and storyteller.  She has consistently raised a strong public voice for progressive religion and social justice.  In New York, her work with Moral Mondays and Occupy Faith have established her within a multi-religious activist network that is both local and national in scope. Within theological education, Rev. McNatt has strong relationships with several seminaries, including the one she attended, Drew Theological School, those at which she teaches (Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York and Yale Divinity School), the school at which she's a mentoring pastor (Meadville Lombard), and of course with Starr King.

Rev. McNatt will succeed Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, who will retire as President of Starr King on June 30, 2014 after serving for 25 years. 

Rev. McNatt was named president after an exhaustive nine-month-long search conducted by the Presidential Search Committee appointed by the Board of Trustees.  I wish to offer a special note of gratitude to the Search Committee and its chair, Rev. Glenn Coleman Farley, and to all the members of the committee.  They worked tirelessly over an extended period of time to conduct a search that was thorough, thoughtful, and effective.  I also wish to thank Hyatt-Fennell, the search firm that assisted the Search Committee and the Board.  Rev. McNatt’s appointment as President was approved by a vote of the school’s Board of Trustees on March 31, 2014.

Rev. McNatt will begin her tenure as president in the Summer of 2014.

Please join me in welcoming the Rev. McNatt as the next president of Starr King.

Helio Fred Garcia
Chair, Board of Trustees,
Starr King School for the Ministry

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Davidoff Fund to Scholarship Ten Seminarians

Ten seminarians studying for parish ministry, five from Meadville Lombard Theological School and five from Starr King School for the Ministry, will receive a $500 scholarship to attend the 2014 General Assembly (GA) in Providence, RI. The scholarships will be funded by the UUA Davidoff Fund for Lay Leadership.

Application form and full announcement:
Davidoff Scholarship Announcement

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In Memoriam:  Rev. Dr. Gordon McKeeman, 1920-2013

    Soulful Universalist, beloved teacher, gifted writer and preacher, and cherished colleague-a minister's minister-Rev. Dr. Gordon McKeeman, died December 18, 2013. The memorial service will be Sunday, December 29, 2013, at the Rochester (MN) Unitarian Universalist Church, Rev. Dr. Carol Hepokowski presiding.

    Dr. McKeeman served as President of Starr King School from 1983 to 1988 and is remembered with deep gratitude and affection by seminarians who he mentored into the Unitarian Universalist ministry. The Gordon and Phyllis McKeeman Scholarship Fund at Starr King School for the Ministry honors the McKeeman's lifetime of leadership and provides much needed financial aid to seminarians preparing to serve as Unitarian Universalist ministers or lay leaders. Memorial gifts can be sent to:   

The McKeeman Fund, attn: Federico Pacheco  
Starr King School for the Ministry  
2441 Le Conte Ave  
Berkeley, CA 94709  

    Those who have come after Dr. McKeeman at Starr King give thanks for his leadership. "I cherished every opportunity I had to be in conversation with Gordon," Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, current president of Starr King School, notes, "It became our tradition to have breakfast every year at the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly. He and Phyllis understood as few others could the strain and struggle as well as the joys of being president of Starr King. As he did for so many people, Gordon's friendship, compassion, and counsel steadied me and nurtured my development. His theological depth was inspiring and his acerbic wit rescued me from many moments of despair!" 

    Born in 1920, Gordon grew up in Massachusetts, married Phyllis Bradstreet in 1944, and received his theological degree from the Universalist School of Religion at Tufts University in 1945. He served congregations in Worcester, Mass., Stoughton, Mass., Palmer, Mass., and Akron, Ohio and was honored with the Angus McLean Award, an honorary doctorate from Meadville Lombard, and in partnership with Phyllis, with the UUA Distinguished Service Award. He served Unitarian Universalism at every level: chairing the UU Service Committee Board, serving on the UUA Board of Trustees, and running for president of the UUA. A charter member of The Humiliati, and their life-time Abbot, Gordon was a leading representative of the Humiliati's "emergent Universalism," emphasizing the impulse towards wholeness in the depth of every person and developing worship and sacramental practices for the renewal of the life-giving spirit of liberal religion. 

    Rev. McKeeman delivered the Starr King School President’s Lecture on June 27, 2004, for the UUA General Assembly in Long Beach, Calif. You can read his lecture here.

    Dr. McKeeman's words on the meaning of ministry continue to grace the Starr King catalog, inviting a new generation to take the path of ministry:

Ministry is
a quality of relationship between and among
human beings
that beckons forth hidden possibilities;
inviting people into deeper, more constant
more reverent relationship with the world
and with one another;

carrying forward a long heritage of hope and
liberation that has dignified and informed
the human venture over many centuries;

being present with, to, and for others
in their terrors and torments
in their grief, misery and pain;

knowing that those feelings
are our feelings, too;

celebrating the triumphs of the human spirit,
the miracles of birth and life,
the wonders of devotion and sacrifice;

witnessing to life-enhancing values;
speaking truth to power;  

speaking for human dignity and equity,
for compassion and aspiration;

believing in life in the presence of death;
struggling for human responsibility
against principalities and structures
that ignore humaneness and become
instruments of death.

It is all these and much, much more than all of
them, present in
the wordless,
the unspoken,
the ineffable.

It is speaking and living the highest we know
and living with the knowledge that it is
never as deep, or as wide
or a high as we wish.

Whenever there is a meeting
that summons us to our better selves, wherever

our lostness is found,
our fragments are united,
our wounds begin healing,
our spines stiffen and
our muscles grow strong for the task,

there is ministry.

-          Rev. Dr. Gordon McKeeman, 1920-2013


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Announcing Dean Lettini's Sabbatical

As approved by the Board of Trustees in the Fall of 2012, Dean Gabriella Lettini will be on sabbatical from January 1, 2014 to August 2014.  We wish her a restful and productive time:  she will be researching, writing, traveling and taking time for spiritual and physical renewal.   Her sabbatical projects will include serving on the Ecumenical Jury for the Berlin Film Festival in February, and continuing her work on moral injury as well as  her collaboration  with the Poverty Initiative.   

Professor Susan Ritchie will serve as Acting Dean of the Faculty while Dean Lettini is on sabbatical.   To free up her time for this special assignment, she will be released from her spring semester course and a guest instructor will teach the spring semester UU history course.   Many thanks to Dr. Ritchie!

Dean Lettini’s advisees are being reassigned to other core faculty members for the winter and spring; Dr. Lettini has already discussed the temporary reassignments with all of her advisees. 

Rev. Kuhwald will oversee community field work and CPE, and Rev. Dr. Blake will oversee community internships.  These changes have already been made on the related course offerings. Dr. Farajaje’ will oversee the MASC program. Many thanks to each one of them for taking on these additional assignments. 

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Starr King Announces Presidential Search

For the first time in 25 years, Starr King School is in search for a new president. View the Presidential Search page for the position description, all details about applying for the position, and the announcement of President Rebecca Parker's retirement in June 2014 after 25 years of service.

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SKSM Symposium 2013 Videos Available

Complete videos of "Loving Our Earth" Symposium with honored guest teacher Dr. Joanna Macy are available from the conference recording service at their website: Symposium 2013 Recordings.

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SKSM Affirms Atheist and Humanist Military Chaplains

Dr. Rebecca Parker, President and Professor of Theology at Starr King School, is a co-signer of a letter in support of humanist chaplaincy written by a broad coalition of seminarians, denominational leaders, chaplain professionals, and humanist chaplains. SKSM graduate Rev. Sarah Lammert of the UUA is also a signer. With strong interfaith support, humanist chaplaincy can no longer be simply dismissed.

See more of this story at:











Dr. Rebecca Parker Speaking and Events ScheduleRebecca Parker

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