June 21, 2014

For All That Shall Be – Yes. Message from Rev. Dr. John Buehrens

John Buehrens

John Buehrens

As Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker concludes her exemplary twenty-five year presidency of the School, and new president Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt steps into leadership, I am reminded of Dag Hammarskjöld’s words: “For all that has been – Thanks. For all that shall be – Yes.”

Founding Starr King president Earl Morse Wilbur said long ago, “She is a little school … but there are those that love her, those that have sacrificed for her, those that believe in her, those that have faith in a memorable future for her. And so we stand to greet that future with a cheer, and thank God, and take courage.” Friends, let us gather together to stand and greet the future with a cheer by making a gift today in support of the good work of the School. Click here to secure online donation page.

I vividly remember the joy we felt on the Starr King Board of Trustees, twenty-five years ago, when the School called an unknown, but clearly brilliant, stalwart, and talented young minister to become the President of Starr King School for the Ministry-the first women to serve as the permanent head of a theological school. We hoped the Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker would have a long tenure and were confident that the School would flourish with her leadership. Flourish it has!

Your gift today will say thanks for all that has been – for Dr. Parker’s legacy of scholarship, teaching, institution building, and courageous love. Donate to the Parker Legacy Fund.

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of being present for Starr King’s Commencement, a jubilant and moving ceremony at which the graduating students spoke. Their words reminded me, once again, why graduates of Starr King become life-changing religious leaders. A few examples: Emily Webb described how the School called her to know herself with honesty so that she could minister with integrity; Matthew McHale offered vision for the power of religious communities in a time of global climate change; and Leslie Jarzabski articulated with humor and depth why a person would follow the difficult path of ministry. You can listen yourself to the video clips of their words.

Your gift today will support the students preparing for ministry and progressive religious leadership at Starr King School for the Ministry-students who will move forward in their lives to ‘bless the world in the spirit of love.’
Exciting times are ahead for the School. The Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt will take up her duties as Starr King’s new president on July 1, 2014. A leading public voice for progressive faith, a deeply devoted Unitarian Universalist, a minister, teacher, journalist, and social activist, Rev. McNatt will bring gifts of passion, energy, boldness, and spiritual depth to the School.

Your gift today will say “Yes” to all that shall be. Support especially matters when the boat is small and the waves are high. Join me in ensuring a memorable future for Starr King School for the Ministry, this small but sturdy craft which has one again set its sails with boldness and courage.

You can make a secure on-line gift here, or send a check today

Starr King School for the Ministry
c/o Abbey Tennis, Interim Advancement Director
2441 Le Conte Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94709.

In faith and with abiding gratitude,
Rev. Dr. John Buehrens
Former President, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
Senior Minister-designate, First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco

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