Our wonderful Community Minister, The Reverend Elaine Aron Tenbrink, gets us ready for the new Church Year. Where do we belong in out community, in our school, in our church? All of these places can offer a sense of home and connection. But too often we struggle to find our place and fulfill our longing for community and tradition. Very often, within our church, we are troubled by the question “Who are we as Unitarian Universalists?” This sermon was delivered in Gage Hall on September 2, 2012.
For those who may not know her well, Reverend Tenbrink is our Unitarian Universalist Community Minister who serves the larger community beyond our church. The primary arena of her ministry is chaplaincy. Rev. Tenbrink is a native midwesterner, who grew up in Kansas City and earned an undergraduate degree from Grinnell College in Iowa. Prior to seminary studies, she volunteered with the Peace Corps in the Cape Verde Islands and coordinated the social justice program of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas. In April 2010, she was ordained into the ministry by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis, California and graduated from Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, one of our two Unitarian Universalist seminaries.
Our book choice this week is The Darkness Around Us is Deep: Selected Poems of William Stafford. Reverend Tenbrink has chosen to use one of Stafford’s poems in her service today, and there is much to explore within his words. William Stafford was an American poet and pacifist, and the father of poet and essayist Kim Stafford. He was appointed the twentieth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1970.