Thank you for supporting the education and training of the progressive faith leaders our world needs.
I faithfully support Meadville Lombard (even though I am a graduate of a different UU theological school) because I believe Meadville Lombard is doing a superb job of preparing the next generation of ministers for our beloved spiritual tradition. In a nutshell: the world desperately needs UUism, and UUism fiercely needs Meadville Lombard!
I support Meadville Lombard because I believe in the power of seeding the future of Unitarian Universalist ministry. When I began seminary over twenty years ago, having just paid off my college debt, my seminary education was funded by supportive family members I know and love and strangers I'll never know and still love. What a gift to receive! By giving to Meadville Lombard, I am joining the cloud of Unitarians and Universalist strangers who believe in the power of seeding future ministries. And what a transformational experience to receive! I love the ways that Meadville Lombard is teaching its students — both professional and lay folx — to meet the challenges of our times with our theologies, grounded in collective liberation.
I had a dream and Meadville Lombard helped me fulfill it. I thought I could do good work in building community and ML gave me the tools to do so. That’s why I support Meadville Lombard.
Why We Love Meadville Lombard: We see Meadville Lombard as a foundation stone for Unitarian Universalism. The School has helped UUism to become what it is today. In 2006, I was recruited to join the UUA Congregational Study Action Core Team that was working on peacemaking. Dr. Sharon Welch, Provost of Meadville Lombard at the time, was a significant factor in our work. Her knowledge, spirit, and connections were key — this impressed me greatly. We also noticed that other lay leaders were supporting Meadville Lombard for the same reasons that we do, including the late Denny Davidoff, who had mentored Susan and me in our early days doing UU social witness. I was even involved in the Fahs Collaborative’s anti-racism program, Beloved Conversations. We continue to be impressed with what Meadville Lombard does and ministers educated at Meadville Lombard.
My commitment to Meadville Lombard reflects the School’s ability to change with the times. Meadville Lombard has successfully transformed itself from the traditional residential school to a flexible model of education in keeping with the needs of today’s students. Many of the activist-ministers of the 60’s came from Meadville Lombard. My Dad, a businessman, was proud to be knocking on doors on Chicago’s West Side to make sure people knew about Food Stamps thanks to the influence of Meadville Lombard seminarians. When UUs started to explore prayers, Meadville Lombard made a presentation at General Assembly on the topic. Most recently, as we renewed our commitment to antiracism work, Meadville Lombard developed the program Beloved Conversations. I am proud to support Meadville Lombard.
As a retired alum, I am enormously grateful for the offerings I received at Meadville Lombard. The academic rigor of our courses, combined with their practical application provided by the faculty, plus the opportunities for lifelong friendship with our colleagues, were the grounding necessary for my ministerial formation. I gladly support the School in order to enable this quality of education for generations to come. As Dag Hammarskjold says in Markings, "For all that has been — Thanks! To all that shall be — Yes!"
I support Meadville Lombard because it provides a robust education for students who embrace Unitarian Universalist principles and wish to engage in sharing their messages through ministry. The school is also flexible enough to make operational adjustments in response to the realities of life while effectively meeting the needs of the students. Such flexibility requires greater financial support and I feel compelled and honored to contribute.
Progressive ministry matters now more than ever. We support both Meadville Lombard Theological School (Barbara’s Alma Mater) and Starr King School for the Ministry (Jaco’s Alma Mater) through annual giving and in our wills because we are deeply committed to the transformative education we know UU seminaries offer their students.
The world in which I was ordained for UU ministry in 1991 has virtually vanished. There are extraordinary new demands and expectations of religious leaders in this decade of global pandemic, climate crisis, recommitment to racial equity and justice, democracy under threat, and languishing consensus about truth. Meadville Lombard is preparing religious leaders to inspire and empower people in community to deepen their faith and develop their power to be agents of compassion and change for the long haul. Meadville Lombard is training leaders for the essential work of transforming
a fractured world.