United Days is the new name (in 2014) for Spring Convocation, the annual homecoming and reunion for alums across time and distance. It’s an occasion to reflect on the years and connections that make up the United experience and reinvigorate your work in the world.
Reunite, Reflect, Reinvigorate
United Days is a time to reconnect and to honor the Distinguished Alum at the Alum Dinner. There are also opportunities to learn with continuing education programs. Make United Days an annual event each spring:
- Meet up with old friends
- Make new acquaintances
- Gather for worship
- Explore a new subject
- Share fellowship over meals
- Learn what’s been happening at United
- Leave refreshed for your work or daily life
2014 United Days Highlights—Wednesday, April 30
Alika Galloway, co-pastor of Kwanzaa Community Church in Minneapolis, was a moving preacher, deeply touching us with lessons and ah-ha moments from her rich stories of the earth and water and trees.
Learning Program—“Down to Earth: From Learning to Engagement”
As leaders of faith, what is your role in caring for the earth? How do you engage faith communities and others in your circle to move from learning to action? Speakers addressed this topic in different ways—from theological, prophetic and practical perspectives.
Carlton Waterhouse, associate professor at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and an ordained AME Minister, spoke on “Ecological Ethics and Environmental Justice: Justice and Fairness in Caring for Creation.” Potent learning on justice, ethics, the social dominance theory and……yes, Donald Sterling.
Diane Wilson (Dakota) is a master gardener, Mdewakanton descendant and executive director for Dream of Wild Health, a 10-acre nonprofit farm that connects the urban Native Community to indigenous foods and medicines.
Moderated by Gail Anderson, director of United’s Interfaith and Intercultural Initiatives, the panel highlighted creative ways to integrate care of the earth in homes and communities.
- Tim Johnson, a leader in racial and environmental causes, is pastor of Cherokee Park United Church.
- Brandon Krosch is a third generation beekeeper for Kroch Gardens and director of physical plant at United, where you’ll find a growing number of hives producing the seminary’s Holy Honey.
- Terri Mattila has a Ph.D. in comparative and molecular biosciences from the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She is the manager of House of Hope Church’s Community Garden, in its fourth year of producing organically grown fruits and vegetables, all donated to a local food shelf.
- Sally Mills, with an MBA in sustainability and entrepreneurship, is the owner of Triple Green Solutions and co-chair of the Green Sanctuary Committee at Minnesota Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Bloomington. Sally was instrumental in helping compost 90% of the waste from the day’s activities.
- Robin Raudabaugh and her partner Gigi Nauer live on and manage Nitty Gritty Dirt Farm, a 15-acre farm engaging in community farming practices and land sharing with other farmers. Nitty Gritty Dirt Farm’s primary goal is to build community, relationships, and personal health and well-being around good food and the intentional living that creates it.
- Jennifer Tacheny is co-director of Celeste’s Dream at Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in St. Paul, and a mentor for the Food Justice Coalition at St. Catherine University. She has a master’s in pastoral ministry and, along with her husband, runs a small organic vegetable business in Mankato.
Graduates from the classes of 1944, 1949, 1954, 1964, 1974, 1984, 1989, 1994 and 2004 were honored and invited to share stories.
Alum Reception and Dinner
2014 Distinguished Alums Rufus Campbell ’90 and Sharon Wilson ’94 were recognized at the Alum Dinner at Columbia Manor Golf Club. Also honored were retiring professor of New Testament theology Marilyn Salmon, outgoing director of the Institute for the Support of Pastoral Ministries Christie Neuger and outgoing director of admissions Glen Herrington-Hall.