Three individuals were honored for their longterm service to Unitarian Universalism at the 2019 UUA General Assembly in Spokane, Washington, this June.
The Award for Distinguished Service to the Cause of Unitarian Universalism, the Association’s highest honor, was presented to the Rev. Dr. Mark Morrison-Reed, who “has exerted an immense influence on Unitarian Universalism for more than forty years,” said UUA Co-Moderator Elandria Williams. With the Rev. Donna Morrison-Reed, his wife and partner in ministry, he served as co-minister of congregations in Rochester, New York, and Toronto, Canada. Only the second African American raised in the UU faith to become a UU minister, he pioneered the study of the African American presence in Unitarian Universalism. He has served on many UUA committees and was president of the Canadian Unitarian Council. At Meadville Lombard Theological School, he was coordinator of the Sankofa Archives, a collection of materials telling the stories of UUs of color.
“He has been a wise mentor to many, clergy and lay, but especially to UUs of color,” said Williams. “Pastor, scholar, teacher, mentor, and friend, Mark has enriched the lives of many thousands within our faith community and beyond.”
CB Beal was awarded the 2019 Angus H. MacLean Award for Excellence in Religious Education. Beal is a UU religious educator, a sexuality educator, and director of Justice and Peace Consulting based in Easthampton, Massachusetts. They served the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence as director of Religious Education for sixteen years. A member of the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) since 2000, they’ve served on the LREDA board and as a Good Officer. “CB Beal has served Unitarian Universalism and their profession with wisdom, creativity, and integrity,” said Gail Forsyth-Vail, interim Faith Development director of the UUA, including by raising “their prophetic voice to challenge Unitarian Universalists to center people who are marginalized by trans and non-binary gender identity.”
UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray presented the 2019 President’s Award for Volunteer Service to the Association to Denise Rimes, the UUA’s outgoing vice moderator. Rimes has served with distinction on the congregational, district, regional, and national levels, including as president of First UU Church of Richmond, Virginia, and as president of the Southeast District, where she was pivotal in leaving behind the painful historic district name and recommitting to the work of antiracism. During a period of disruption on the UUA board and the untimely death of Moderator Jim Key, “Denise skillfully took on the role of moderator and brought . . . an abiding commitment to address structures and practices that reinforce a culture of white supremacy and inhibit the UUA’s ability to live into Beloved Community,” Frederick-Gray said.
The print edition omitted the honorific for the Rev. Donna Morrison-Reed.