Message from Jon – May 2021

Rev. Jon M. Luopa

Dear Members and Friends:

Our congregation has long understood that the ministry of this church goes beyond our four walls. In addition to our settled ministers, we have also had the tradition of distinctly recognizing and spiritually supporting Unitarian Universalist ministers who are ministering in the wider community. Over forty years ago, in 1977, our then lay leadership and parish minister, the Rev. Peter Raible, found a way of recognizing four ordained Unitarian Universalist ministers who were also UUC members. One of those four ministers, the Rev. Ralph Mero, described it as a way “of recognizing in a symbolic way these ministers within the congregation.” This was the first such program of its kind within our national organization and it became the model many other UU congregation have copied over these decades. Such ministers were known within their congregations as Affiliated Ministers. The bond between the congregation and these ministers has never been one of financial remuneration but has certainly been rich in intangible gifts, given and received. We recognize their ministry within the larger community while occasionally asking them to perform limited tasks within the congregation.

For more than twenty years, the Rev. Deborah Raible, a family and marriage therapist in private practice, has been one of our Affiliated Ministers. Only a few years ago, the Rev. Linda Kaufman, who had been a hospital chaplain at Swedish Hospital, retired from her affiliated status. And now, after having had the honor of ordaining Justin Almeida to the Unitarian Universalist ministry last month, he has requested that he also become one of our Affiliated Ministers. The Rev. Justin currently serves as a Palliative Care Chaplain at the Veteran’s Administration of the Puget Sound. As our protocol states, I made the request on Justin’s behalf to the Board of Trustees who have placed this item on the agenda of the Annual Meeting coming up on June 13. I hope you will be able to join us on June 13 for this important meeting and to enjoy the privilege of extending this status to our dear Justin.


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Rev. Jon M. Luopa