Posts by John Hooper

Kendyl Gibbons ~ 2015 Religious Humanist of the Year

It was my pleasure to award Rev. Dr. Kendyl Gibbons the 2015 Religious Humanist of the Year Award at our Annual Meeting at General Assembly on June 25. Here is the introduction I gave to Kendyl, followed by her remarks. Congratulations again, Kendyl!


The Reverend Dr. Kendyl Gibbons is the 15th senior minister at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church. She is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist, a recognized leader in our continental Association, and past president of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association. Kendyl is a 1976 graduate of the College of William and Mary, with BAs in Religion and Sociology. She holds a Master’s degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School, and a Doctorate of Ministry from our UU seminary, Meadville/Lombard Theological School. Read more about Kendyl Gibbons ~ 2015 Religious Humanist of the Year »

President's Corner

The Mission of your Unitarian Universalist Humanist Association (HUUmanists) is two-fold:

1.     Promote a broad acceptance of Humanism in our society, particularly throughout the Unitarian Universalist Association and its congregations; and

2.     Provide an active interface between Unitarian Universalists and the secular community.

Your extraordinary Board of Directors and I strive to make sure that all of our initiatives are clearly mission-based. 

In December, 2013, Maria Greene, formerly the HUUmanist Association secretary, took on the position of  Director of Development and Communication for our Association.  Maria is a graduate engineer, an entrepreneur, and an active local leader in the eastern Massachusetts area Humanists and secular groups.  Thanks to Maria we now have up-to-date and active communications mechanisms, including a vibrant web and Facebook presence.  Activity in our local groups projects and special events have taken off under Maria’s guidance.  You will learn about some of the results of her efforts later in this newsletter. Read more about President's Corner »

President's Corner

Before I tell you about the important progress we are making in both reinforcing the Humanist core of Unitarian Universalism and acting as a bridge between Unitarian Universalism and the secular/non-theist community, I have an exciting announcement to make:

On November 18, 2013, your Board of Directors unanimously approved the appointment of Maria Greene to the part-time position of Development and Communications Director of the Unitarian Universalist Humanist Association (HUUmanists).  Maria will guide our efforts in three areas: Membership Development/Fundraising; Local Group identification, formation and affiliation; and Communications. Please join me in thanking Maria for taking on this critical job in our movement and in giving her our enthusiastic support.  In a related action, the Board has appointed Rev. Dr. Neil Gerdes to the position of Secretary of the Association, replacing Maria.

Let me tell you about just a few of the exciting "happenings" involving your UU Humanist Association. Read more about President's Corner »

UUA President Morales on Science and the Search for Meaning

Unitarian Universalist Humanists will be very encouraged by reading UUA President Peter Morales' recent article "Science and the Search for Meaning," published in last summer's issue of The New Atlantis.  Peter forcefully reaffirms the Unitarian Universalist principle: "we affirm and promote a free and responsible search for truth and meaning." The entire essay could be interpreted as a thoughtful explication of our Unitarian Universalist Humanist Association (HUUmanists) core values of Reason, Compassion, and Community. Thanks, Peter.  We needed that!

Here are Peter Morales' words:


Religious Humanism Comes of Age

[Editor's note: This text was first presented as a sermon at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst, MA, 10/21/12. An shortened version of it appeared in the Fall 2012 issue of the journal, Religious Humanism.]

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. (I Corinthians 13:11)

I’ve come to realize that this simple description of the necessary transition from childhood to adulthood applies not just to individuals but also to cultures and societies, and ultimately to the human species itself. Read more about Religious Humanism Comes of Age »

Celebrating David E. Schafer, President Emeritus

One of the pleasures I had at the HUUmanists' yearly meeting a the 2013 UUA General Assembly was naming David Schafer our President Emeritus. David has been a friend and mentor for many years and I am personally grateful for all he has given the HUUmanists Assocation, including the years he spent as president from 2003 - 2010 and his on-going service on our Board.


Here is a David's abbreviated biography: Read more about Celebrating David E. Schafer, President Emeritus »

President’s Corner

The HUUmanists Association has experienced another year of accomplishment in our quest to be a stronger voice for reason and compassion in Unitarian Universalism and in our society at large.  In addition, we have broadened the scope of our vision by seeking to become a bridge to Unitarian Universalism for secular individuals and others who presently have no formal religious affiliation.  To these ends, our extraordinary officers and Board of Directors, made up of Humanist scholars, ministers, and lay leaders, have clarified and focused our Mission

The Humanist Unitarian Universalist (HUUmanists) Association is committed to Humanist principles of reason, compassion, and human fulfillment enumerated in the Humanist Manifestos and in the seven Principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association.  We seek (1) to promote a broad acceptance of Humanism in our society, particularly throughout the Unitarian Universalist Association and its congregations, and (2) to provide an active interface between Unitarian Universalists and the secular community. Read more about President’s Corner »

Humanist Events at General Assembly

Beyond Congregations: The Humanist Community Project at Harvard

Saturday, June 22, 5:30 – 6:45 p.m.

Convention Center 109-112

Several recent studies have revealed that a rapidly changing percentage of young people are affiliating with no religious tradition. The Humanist chaplain at Harvard University, founder and leader of a vibrant secular community organization, will describe a unique response to “the rise of the nones” that is succeeding beyond expectations.  Our speaker is Gregory M. Epstein, Humanist chaplain at Harvard University, who will be joined by Dr. John B. Hooper, president of the HUUmanists.



HUUmanists Annual Meeting

Saturday, June 22, 6:50 – 8:20 p.m. – Convention Center 109-112 Read more about Humanist Events at General Assembly »

Help Us Tell MA Gov. Deval Patrick & Melissa Rogers: Healing Must Be For Everyone

Please read, sign and share this petition, hosted at Groundswell:

Help Us Tell MA Gov. Deval Patrick & Melissa Rogers: Healing Must Be For Everyone

The Boston Marathon bombing was an event that effected all Americans, so there was no justification for excluding the representatives of the Harvard Humanists and the Secular Coalition for Massachusetts who asked to be included. Given that one fifth of the population is non-religious and that President Obama was there representing our secular government, there should have been a place made for the Humanist and atheist community.

I have signed the petition on behalf of the HUUmanists and encourage all of you to add your support. Read more about Help Us Tell MA Gov. Deval Patrick & Melissa Rogers: Healing Must Be For Everyone »

Meadville Lombard Announces Humanist Archive

Chicago, IL, February 18, 2013 – Meadville Lombard Theological School announced today the formation of a dedicated Humanist Archive. Meadville Lombard is calling on Unitarian Universalists and Humanists to donate sermons, monographs, essays, photographs, correspondence, pamphlets, audio, video, and books to the collection. The details of the announcement may be found on the Meadville Lombard website.