The Ordination of Beth Chronister
Crowdfunding Completed: April 2, 2015
Amount Funded: $3329
Project Owner: First Unitarian Society of Denver, CO
Short Description of Project
On April 12th, 2015 Beth Chronister will be ordained to the Unitarian Universalist ministry by the First Unitarian Society of Denver. Beth's ministry has been shaped through loving covenants with multiple UU communities over her lifespan. It is her joy to be ordained to this faith and be part of leading UU communities through the dawnings of new eras in religion and society. Your donations will help support the ordination and reception. Thank you!
How was this project connected to UU?
This ordination comes only after the commitments of four different Unitarian Universalist communities: - The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Topeka where Beth was raised with the values of love, justice, compassion, and tenacity - Living into Covenant, a seminarian in-care group which supports seminary students along the Front Range of Colorado by placing them in community with established UU ministers - First Universalist Church of Denver, which fostered Beth's ministry as an intern her last year at the Iliff School of Theology - First Unitarian Society of Denver where Beth is beginning her service to the UU ministry as an Assistant Minister. This ordination is a recognition of Beth's entrance into ministry, but also a celebration of the communities that have been part of a much larger story of how Unitarian Universalism offers support, inspiration, and guidance to its members of all ages. In covenant with one another and in communion with those who have gone before, our future is one of unimagined possibilities.
Being ordained by a congregation is a defining aspect of who we are within our polity and history. It is a symbol of the shared ministry between lay people and ministers and a ritual that embodies how church is a creation of the whole community. Beth's ministry is possible because of the relationships with other Unitarian Universalists.. On this day, she will be blessed and ushered into her new role as ordained clergy by those who have supported her as mentors, friends, family, colleagues, and congregants. We will do this ordination as a covenantal tradition, promising to one another to grow through shared ministry and the ever moving spirit of the living tradition.
Full Description of Project
IMG_0836The first time Beth felt called to the Unitarian Universalist ministry was when she led worship with other youth at her home congregation, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Topeka.
The second time Beth felt called to the ministry was during her service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay, South America. There, living and working within an intergenerational and interdependent community, Beth felt distinctly called to the sacred work of guiding, nurturing, and inspiring community. It was in Paraguay, where relationships are the foundation of any shared effort, that Beth first experienced the transformation of social justice as soul work. She came back fired up to keep connecting community, justice, and spirit.
In the 6 years since returning to the United States, Beth has felt called again and again into the UU ministry. Whether it has been in working with youth ministry as a camp director, exploring UU history and theology at the Iliff School of Theology, dialoging with interfaith leaders, preaching to UU congregations along the Front Range, or working in tandem with lay leaders to share and expand the ministry of the church, Beth finds herself ever more deeply committed to the promise of Unitarian Universalism to transform people's lives into shared lives of love, justice, faith, practice, and covenant.
The theme of Beth's ordination is gardens.
"As a metaphor for ministry, I think of gardening as a collective act of trust, faith, surrender and celebration. Both gardens and churches are interdependent systems much more complicated than I will ever understand from my head, but can love deeply from my heart. We garden together in hopes of a harvest, but with no guarantee of what will be produced. We do this work, even though there might be a hail storm or aphids. We do this work, pleasantly surprised at what fruits abundantly and consistently learning from what wilts on the vine. Importantly, we do this work as a community that believes what we are growing is worthwhile, not only for ourselves, but for the benefit of others and for future generations of co-gardeners."
Beth is currently serving the First Unitarian Society of Denver as their Assistant Minister where she gets to grow in relationship to a passionate, focused, and expanding congregation in the urban core of Denver. It has been a great joy, filled with learning along the way.
Your donations will help fund the cost of the actual ordination and celebration on April 12th, 2015 including food, flowers, invitation, etc. Thank you so much for being part of creating this day, both in your financial contribution and in the years of support!