Reading for creating our welcoming & jubilee world!
Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley, Nancy Palmer Jones, eds., Soul Work: Anti-racist Theologies in Dialogue
Mark Morrison Reed, ed. by Jacqui James. Been In The Storm So Long
Mark Morrison Reed, Black Pioneers in a White Denomination
Leslie Takahashi Morris, James (Chip) Roush, The Arc of the Universe is Long
Paul Kivel, Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice
John Thomas Crestwell, Charge of the Chalice
Ilan Stavans, The Hispanic Condition: The Power of a People
Victor Carpenter, The Long Challenge: The Empowerment Controversity, 1967-1977
UUA, Unitarian Universalism and the Quest for Racial Justice
Thandeka, Learning to Be White: Money, Race, and God in America
Curtiss Paul DeYoung, Michael O. Emery, United by Faith: The Multiracial Congregation
Linda Sout, Bridging the Class Divide
Richard D. Leonard, Call to Selma
Michelle Bates Deakin, Gay Marriage, Real Life
Joe Feagin, Melvin Sikes, Living with Racism: The Black Middle-Class Experience
Cornel West, Quinton Hosford Dixie, The Courage to Hope: From Black Suffering to Human Redemption
I love this adventuring crew of amazing people that calls itself River of Grass Unitarian Universalist Congregation. We have a lot of fun while we’re engaged in some deeply transformative and often challenging spiritual living. I’m the Reverend Naomi King and one of the many in service and ministry here.
Each wonderful day calls forth joy, hope, and healing from me and how I live – and so, too, for you. The River of Grass Unitarian Universalist Congregation draws from many sources and streams, and echoes the rich natural environment of our real home on the edge of the Everglades.
In many ways, I embody some of the special ministries River of Grass has to our area. I’m a gay woman, and my partner, the Reverend Dr. Thandeka, is another Unitarian Universalist minister and theologian. River of Grass is a Welcoming Congregation. My partnership is also multiracial and like so many of the families here, we have different theological languages and spiritual practices, along with different religious backgrounds. River of Grass has a special ministry to interfaith families and to multiracial/multiethnic families. I have a rare genetic disease, and I’ve dealt with a lot of trauma and addictive systems. River of Grass is creating a spiritual city of refuge (Numbers 35:33) where we learn how to have spiritually healthy relationships and heal this world, while valuing each person as they are right here and now. My journey hasn’t always been easy: that’s true for most of us, and like most of us, the religious and spiritual questions that form my life and ministry are ones related to the most difficult and the most wonderful experiences I’ve had. River of Grass is full of spiritual seekers, rebels, and weavers on a great mystic journey with tangible efforts in making hope, love, and joy evident in our community.
One significant stream that supports me in my ministry is the assurance that just by being born, every single one of us is loved, loveable, and has the potential to be loving. Too many people I’ve met do not feel loved, or loveable, or as if they can love, and that’s when I know I’m meeting someone who’s a kindred spirit. A great many traumatic things can shut down that experience of being loveable and loved and the core of resilience and joy in us. Our Universalist heritage has always held that love is bigger than fear, that love is bigger than evil, that love is bigger than sorrow, that love is bigger than anger, that love is bigger than bigotry and that love conquers all. I believe that with every fiber of my being, and want to invite you into that possibility for your existence. Just by being born you are loved, loveable, and can love.
Unitarian Universalism invites you to come nurture your spirit, come heal the world. River of Grass is one of more than one thousand congregations making that invitation. Our lives are fantastic adventures, in which we have great authority, gifts, and opportunities to create the world in which we would really like to live.
Wishing you more hope, more love, and more joy,
because you are worthy, (Yes! You!)
Rev. Naomi King
Journey Toward Wholeness Team, Florida Unitarian Universalist Association District
Vice-President, Florida Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association
An act of service is a blessing when freely given, freely accepted, and freely celebrated. Where & how would you be happy to serve today?
The African American Pulpit, Interweave Knits, Shambhala Sun, Tikkun
I enjoy knitting, reading, cooking, and gardening the most. I always have more to learn in each of them.
What do you do when you’re down?
Generally, musical prayer. I often try to sing my way out of it, beginning with whatever is nagging at me, whatever earwurm has wriggled out of my spirit. But if I can’t move from there, that’s what all the dance music is for on the iPod.
Prayer, meditation, inspirational reading, music
B.A. in Cultural Studies, University of Southern Maine
M.Div., Meadville Lombard Theological School
2005 Stewardship Sermon Award, co-sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA)
Annual Program Fund (APF), and the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA)
2007 Minister of the Week for Ferry Beach Religious Educators Week, “R.E.:Evangelizing”