March 26, 2015

I Am Starr King: Interview with Mr. Barb Greve

Watch Mr. Barb Greve, Developmental Director of Lifespan Religious Education at Mount Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church and the Acting Chair and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees at Starr King School for the Ministry, speak about his experience of Starr King School.

Why did you decide to become a religious leader?

I believe that Unitarian Universalism saves lives and I wanted a way to share it with the world. I started working at the UUA in my early twenties in the Office of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Concerns. And I saw through my work with the queer community the power of a religion that welcomed queer folks. I decided to go to seminary, to Starr King in large part…or rather decided to become a religious leader because it seemed like a natural progression of a way to offer the world a welcoming faith, a saving faith.

Why did you decide to study at Starr King?

When I looked at the ministers and the religious leaders in Unitarian Universalism that I admired the most, the majority of them came from Starr King School for the Ministry. I also came because I wanted to study with Dr. Ibrahim Farjaje, Patti Lawrence, and Rebecca Parker. I had seen what they were doing in the world, both in Unitarian Universalism and outside of Unitarian Universalism, and I wanted to learn from them.

Why did you decide to serve Starr King on its Board of Trustees?

I am an institutionalist at heart. I believe that Boards of Trustees help institutions stay healthy, help do the work of the institution. And as a student, I wanted to offer my passion for Board work and my skills in Unitarian Universalist politics.

I accepted the nomination to be on the Board this time around because I believe wholeheartedly in the new directions that Starr King is going, not just in our work in Unitarian Universalism but our embracing multi-religiosity and our recognition that the world is a pluralistic and multi-faith community. And I wanted to be a part of helping to ensure that that continues to exist and be taught in an academic setting.

What has been your most memorable or meaningful experience at Starr King?

Hmm…I think the most meaningful experiences for me, in the context of Starr King, have been the moments where radical transformation has happened—either in myself, in my understandings of the world and my understandings of the holy, or in transformations of those around, whether they be students, staff, or faculty.

For supporters of the school, I think that anyone who is touched by Starr King is transformed and it is a place where the holy and love show up time and time again.

In your own words, what role does Starr King have within Unitarian Universalism and progressive religion?

Starr King teaches from a model that embraces life experience and lifelong learning as well as our understanding of a pluralistic and multi-religious world. I think that the impact that the school has on all of that is that we pull from all of that understanding and infuse it into Unitarian Universalism.


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