Meet some of our visiting ministers:
Rev. Johanna Boeke
The Rev. Jopie Boeke is a long-time friend of the fellowship – she has been coming to Paris for 18 years. She lives in England now but was born and raised in the Netherlands where she met her husband, Dick Boeke, an American Unitarian Universalist minister. They lived and worked together in the US for 23 years. Jopie studied for the ministry in Berkeley, CA and has been a UU minister since 1987. The Boeke’s have lived and worked in the UK for the last many years. They are now both retired, but continue their involvement in UU and interfaith organizations. (updated Nov. 2008)
Rev. Chris Buice
The Reverend Chris Buice is minister of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. He is the author of the books A Bucketful of Dreams: Contemporary Parables for all Ages and Roller-skating as a Spiritual Discipline and Other Meditations. Chris Buice has traveled and worked in Europe. Chris spent a sabbatical month in Paris in 2012 with his daughter. In addition to preaching and leading workshops for the Paris Fellowship more than once, Chris was keynote speaker at the EUU Spring Retreat in 2014. But before, Chris spent time as an exchange student at the University of Manchester, England in 1987, which gave him ample opportunity to explore many European countries. And while in seminary he was a program leader for an international gathering of Unitarian Universalists at Great Hucklow in Derbyshire, England. (updated March 2014)
Rev. Daniel Costley
The Rev. Daniel Costley leads the congregation at Sevenoaks Unitarian Church in Kent, England. Daniel has been a Unitarian for around 13 years. Following his calling to ministry, Daniel studied theology and ministry at Exeter University and at Harris Manchester College, Oxford. Daniel is also Secretary to the General Baptist Assembly, a collection of former General Baptist congregations that have all since become Unitarian. His hobbies include walking and writing, and he has had several articles published in various Unitarian journals and papers.
Rev. Rob Gregson
The Rev. Rob Gregson is currently Director of the new London-based Unitarian initiative, SimpleGifts: Unitarian Centre for Social Action. Prior to moving to the UK he was a UU parish minister in rural New Jersey for 7 years; more recently he served as interim minister at Rosslyn Hill Chapel in North London. He currently resides in North London with his two children who still delight in correcting his (British) English. (updated Nov. 2014)
Rev. John Harley
The Rev. John Harley is an old friend of the Paris Fellowship. When he finds the time, he likes to walk up mountains and have attempts at writing poetry. John is the youth coordinator of the British Unitarians and an art teacher in central London. He has recently completed a qualification in Dramatherapy and is Chair of The Art and Spirituality Network, an organisation that runs workshops bringing together art making, time to explore our beliefs and search for meaning. He is fascinated by the interplay between creativity, movement, poetry and soul searching. He has recently completed walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain and loves long distance walking. He is slowly developing his own retreat organization called Be Here Create.
Rev. Art Lester
Art Lester was born in Idaho, longer ago than he cares to remember. He grew up reluctantly in Florida, went to UNC in Chapel Hill and stayed on to open a Mexican restaurant. He worked as a newspaper reporter, draftsman, fire tower operator and supermarket clown. He has served in several British churches and now is minister at Croydon (South London) where he lives with his wife, Gilly, a scriptwriter and playwright. During the 80s he lived in Botswana, The Dominican Republic and Kenya, working with marginal communities, before returning to the UK, obtaining a counseling qualification and training for the Unitarian ministry.
Rev. Mark Morrison Reed
Mark Morrison Reed was raised in the Unitarian Universalist faith, and ordained in 1979. For 26 years, he and his wife, Donna, served as co-ministers–first in Rochester, New York, then in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Now retired from full-time ministry, Morrison-Reed divides his time between writing and other interests. He has been working with Meadville Lombard Theological School to organize and build the library’s archive of materials relating to African American UU involvement, and teaching at the school on his research. His new book The Selma Awakening (2014) established him as one of the foremost scholars of African-American UU history, presenting the long history of race relations among the Unitarians and the Universalists leading up to 1965.
Rev. Gretchen Thomas
The Rev. Gretchen Thomas grew up in the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee and became a Unitarian Universalist minister in the 1980s. After living for ten years in Europe when she was one of our regular guest speakers, she moved to Melbourne, Australia where she has written “Walking in Others’ Shoes: Stories from the early years of the UU partner church movement. It makes fascinating reading for anyone interested in North American–European UU connections and is available from Dorcy Erlandson or from the UUA Bookstore in Boston.
Rev. Karen Tse
A former public defender, Karen first developed her interest in the cross section of criminal law and human rights as a Thomas J. Watson fellow in 1986 after observing Southeast Asian refugees detained in a local prison without trial. She later moved to Cambodia in 1994 to train the country’s first core group of public defenders and subsequently served as a United Nations Judicial Mentor. Under the auspices of U.N, she trained judges and prosecutors and established the first arraignment court in Cambodia. After witnessing many violations of the rights of citizens Karen founded International Bridges to Justice in 2000 to promote systemic global change in the administration of criminal justice. She has since negotiated and implemented groundbreaking measures in judicial reform with the Chinese, Vietnamese and Cambodian governments. Under her leadership, IBJ has expanded its programming to Rwanda, Burundi and Zimbabwe, and is now working to create a Global Defender Support Program that will bring IBJ assistance to public defenders worldwide. She is the recipient of numerous awards and was recently named by the US News and World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders. As a social entrepreneur, she has been recognized by the Skoll, Ashoka and Echoing Green foundations.(updated Jan 2010, from http://ibj.org/)