JUC is pleased to announce that Rev. Dana Lightsey
will join our staff as Consulting Assistant Minister on August 15, 2012.
A Letter from Dana --
My dear JUC,
I am overjoyed that our paths are destined to cross yet again!
It has been five years since I first worked at JUC, first as your ministerial intern (2006-07), and then as your acting Director of Religious Education (2007-08). Now I am honored and excited to become your Consulting Assistant Minister. I look forward to seeing you and working with you again!
During the time I have been away, I have graduated from Iliff School of Theology, was ordained here at JUC on January 31, 2010, and I became the Interim Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Cheyenne, in Cheyenne, WY during the past two and half years. Oh, and I got married too!
My experiences in ministry so far have been difficult, painful, and filled with joy. It is always a blessed and sacred time to be with people during the most important times of their lives. I have performed many weddings and funerals, frequently sat in hospitals and hospices, and have done all I could to help this rather small congregation of 140 people rediscover their purpose, their mission, and their vision for existing as a UU church. My love for ministry continues to deepen.
It was astounding to watch the magic that came over the Cheyenne congregation when we became directly involved in local social justice issues. We led a march and a memorial service on 9/11, 2010 on the steps of the state capitol in response to the Qur’an burning by a local hate group. We lived more fully into our new self-concept when we fought hard against anti-GLBTQ legislation by speaking out at legislative hearings. All the bills were defeated.
This past February, we were asked to help the Latino community as they faced the tragedies that occurred after Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided many undocumented immigrants families’ homes in the early morning hours of January 24, 2012.
To help them, we raised money and gathered food; held “Know Your Rights” training sessions for them; attended many court hearings; took the families to visit their mothers in detention every weekend; published articles in the local paper; blanketed the U.S. Attorney in Cheyenne with letters and phone calls which finally resulted in reduced charges. All of this (and much more) had the added benefit of creating a powerful union between the UU church and the local Latino community. By the way, all the detainees are now out on bail and this newly formed intercultural and interfaith community is looking to the next phase in their immigration work together.
I have been busy and so have you! You have called a wonderful new senior minister, Rev. Wendy Williams, to lead you into your promising future. I am honored and delighted to have this opportunity to work together with Wendy and the rest of the wonderful JUC staff. You are in wonderful hands and there is great promise in the air. What a privilege for me to be a part of it!
Thank you for this precious honor to serve you once again. I look forward to seeing you soon.
Rev. Dana Lightsey