First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia ~ Welcome home!

     I herewith express my thanks and gratitude to the congregation of the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, who by a unanimous vote, honored me on January 23, 2011 by granting sponsorship of my Unitarian Universalist ministry candidacy. Also, my thanks and gratitude go to the Board of Trustees, Ministerial Formation Working Group, Congregation Lay leaders and Rev. Nate Walker for their welcoming, support, advisement, mentoring, and embracement. The realization of this life-long dream is finally being fulfilled, to a major extent, because this congregation has committed to “hold me within their care.” When I rejoined this congregation in October 2007, I was impressed by their election to be a “Welcoming Congregation” and their affirming it in each worship service by stating “Welcome Home.” I have realized that this is not just rhetoric but something the congregation is committed to in practice without reservation. In accepting this honor of sponsorship, I pledge to hold fast to my ministerial ideology to stand on the side of Love and Compassion, be in covenant with the Unitarian Universalist principles of respecting the inherent worth and dignity of every person; and in the wisdom of all the world’s religions which inspire us in our ethical and spiritual lives, provide communal spiritual support and comfort; especially to the marginalized and disenfranchised, and help to build a Dignitarian World free of racism and bigotry. Peace, Mark DeCourval

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