A Letter From the President
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I have a special reason for asking you to support our Meadville Lombard Annual Fund this Holiday Season. Her name is Tania Marquez and she’s a first year student. Tania was called to her life as a Meadville Lombard seminarian by her minister and ML alum, the Rev. Dr. Arvid Straube, recently retired as the Lead Minister at First UU, San Diego.

“One day, after service, our lead minister asked me if I had ever considered ministry and, of course, I said no.”

What Arvid saw in Tania was a Mexican native church member who was already acting as the congregation’s official Spanish translator, leading a Spanish speaking small group, and serving as a Worship Associate, all the while juggling the demanding roles of parenting two young children and pursuing her Ph.D. degree.

“…his suggestion left me restless and I began considering this idea. I was unhappy with the PhD program I was enrolled in because, to me, it seemed disconnected from the reality of many people. We had very interesting discussions in class and we knew the right words to label the different types of oppression and issues in the world, yet I felt that I was not doing anything to reach out to those who were actually struggling with those very issues daily. My minister knew I was not happy in the program and that motivated him to talk to me.”
A key component of San Diego First UU’s strategic plan is to call a bi-cultural minister by the end of 2018. Arvid Straube could envision the possibility of Tania being that minister and, as an active alumnus of Meadville Lombard, he knew that our low residency, contextually anchored TouchPoint™ curriculum with its emphasis on leading across cultures and borders would provide the perfect education and ministerial formation Tania would require. Tania applied and because we believe in her
and her mission, we provided her with the scholarship assistance that will, in the end, create a more inclusive Unitarian Universalism.

“I began my seminary program last summer and every class, conversation, reading and experience has been a confirmation of my call to ministry. It feels right.
There is a place for everything I bring with me and everything I can offer to others.” 
We know there are plenty more Tanias out there. They live in many lands, speak a host of languages and identify with many cultures. They live their lives practicing the values of Unitarian Universalism and are eager to acquaint others with those values. They will be leaders in shaping the future of Unitarian Universalism. They want us and we need them. With the help of generous supporters like you, we will increase our ability to provide the financial assistance necessary to fund their studies for our ministry.

Please give your best gift today so that Meadville Lombard can equip tomorrow’s finest ministers to serve our congregations, our communities, and the world.

Thank you for your kindness and generosity.
Lee Barker
President and Professor of Ministry
To give online please visit: http://www.razoo.com/story/Meadvilleedu