Reflections and Explorations
by Rev. Dr. Linda Weaver Horton,
Unitarian Universalist Minister
(with a background in social science, theology & the arts)
Welcome to this space of exploration & reflection!
(please see note below)
I have been a Unitarian Universalist minister for 26 years, and identified with this Tradition since the age of eight. My daughters, born in 1972 and 1975, were raised in the first Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego, as I was.
Nothing influenced my young life and subsequent interests more than what I learned in the children's religious education program there, and the wholehearted acceptance I experienced as a youth. The support I received as a young adult "loved me into being" - into a level of wholeness and creative productivity I would never have found without it. For ten years I directed an inter-generational liturgical dance choir, along with other lay leadership responsibilities. Creating drama and dance services, and occasional larger productions, has remained a passion throughout my ministry.
Prior to studying for the ministry, I completed a BA in History, followed by Master's Degrees in Anthropology and Sociology. My first spouse was a professor of Latin American Studies, and he encouraged my cross-cultural interests. Before entering the ministry, I worked for 13 years as a counselor and administrator for Amity Institute, a cross-cultural exchange program for young adults who served as teacher aides in foreign language classrooms.
My BA and Masters' theses, along with my D.Min. project for the Claremont School of Theology completed in 1995. all touched upon elements of culture, generation and gender. The Doctoral project was a sociological study: "Subjective Religious Experience among Unitarian Universalists by Generation and Gender."
In 1995, in part as a result of my interest in how religious ideas and culture interact, I accepted a call to the Unitarian Congregation of Saskatoon. There I met my current spouse, Lloyd Horton, and have remained in Canada for 21 years now, serving three Canadian congregations before retiring from settled Parish Ministry. As a native of Southern California, I found the prairie cold a challenge! Moving to BC in 2002 has been our compromise. My daughters and their families now live in Camas and Washougal, WA, so we can drive there in a day. As retirement unfolds, we are not sure what adventures lie ahead. Pursuing my scholarly interests will certainly be one benefit!
Three exciting projects I have been engaged in over these years since coming to Canada have been: 1) the "Leaping from Our Spheres" collaborative study of the impact of women in our ministry published by the UU Ministers' Association in a volume by that name; 2) my six years on the Unitarian Universalist Association's Commission on Appraisal during which we produced the study Engaging our Theological Diversity; and 3) in 2011 serving as the primary editor of the Canadian Unitarian & Universalist Historical Society's book of essays and excerpts titled Guarding Sacred Embers.
I have retained a serious interest in scholarship- theological, historical and sociological. These tend to intercept in my current interests and projects which are explored here. During a Sabbatical in 2013 I began a project studying generational shifts and their impact upon congregational vitality. I am making one more push for participants in my SurveyMonkey questionnaire in hopes of a more significant sample of respondents before taking it off-line at the end of July. (see "Generations" page). I also continue to be fascinated by the dynamics of congregational size transition, and anticipate further writing and workshop leading in that area.
A near-lifelong enthusiast for the religious arts, I have loved creating "Art and Spirit" or "Art and Psyche" workshops wherever I have been called, and hope for further opportunities to lead that healing work. A few years ago, I was delighted to discover the concept of theopoetics. Exploring creative polarities has engaged me for over a decade, and I have a book in progress, excerpts from which make up much of the content of this website other than sermons. I am, in effect, "beta-testing" parts of this manuscript, and continuing to work on it on this website.
If you are a Unitarian or UU,
I would be delighted if you would complete (and encourage folks in your congregation to complete) this survey:
GENERATION SHIFT &
URL FOR SURVEY:
More information on the next page!
All life is a paradox:
a blended soup of changing ideas,
a subtle balance of conflicting needs,
a fragile alliance of opposing values.
The world is a process,
mystery, an impossibility.
Limited in our perceptions,
and born into an infinitely
we are creatures of sheer ambiguity,
who grow only through enduring
and exploring the boundaries
of the unknown.
So let us dance in the empty spaces,
be nimble and quick,
for we are on an odyssey
that lasts forever.”
---David O. Rankin, UU minister,
the UU Skinner House Press, 2001
To the best of my understanding, what appears here is copyright "fair use," except for complete poems. I am contacting living poets to obtain their formal permission to post poems, and will honour their wishes and policies. I encourage readers to explore more of these poets' spiritually engaging work- contact information is often included.
You might also want to check out the website: "A Year of Being Here" for mindfulness poetry.
Photos are generally mine, or I personally know the source- figuring out what can be used from the internet is quite confusing! This is a work in progress. I am still tracking down full bibliographic information for some of the quotes and working to eliminate duplication, as well as learning more about the technology. This is a big step for this Tech Luddite!
If you wish to contact me with comments, requests to use more than brief, attributed excerpts of this material, etc ., my e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org