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Rev. Dr. John T. Morehouse
(203) 227-7205 ext. 12
Rev. Dr. John Morehouse is a fifth generation Unitarian (one of his great-grandfathers was a Unitarian minister) and he grew up in the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Croton-on-Hudson, NY. After graduating in anthropology from Grinnell College, Iowa in 1979, he started a solar energy business, and later held several positions in sales and marketing before feeling the call to ministry. He graduated from Meadville Lombard Theological School in 1990 and was ordained that year.
Rev. John’s many ministries have all been centered on transforming individuals and congregations. Rev. John is well known as a leader in the UU movement. He is an Adjunct Professor and Teaching Pastor at Meadville Lombard Theological School, where he has taught courses in congregational polity and actively mentors intern ministers. He has completed his doctorate of ministry in 2015 and his thesis “Creating Theology Together: A Curriculum for Spiritual Leadership” is focused on helping church leaders develop their shared theology through the lens of racial justice making. The curriculum is now being adapted for congregational use by the Fahs Collaborative and will be available in June 2019.
Called to the Unitarian Church in Westport in 2015, Rev. John has been leading a breakthrough in organization and mission, setting the pace for a congregation that “saves lives” in the broadest possible sense. Innovative worship, a strong lay ministry of caring and reaching out to the larger community are just a few of the changes that have been bringing “the empowering ministry of all” to life.
Rev. John and his wife, Francis, have been married for over 30 years. They have five daughters, Portia, Fiona, Courteny, Emma, and Madeline, and three grandchildren, Skye, Iris, and Ashur.
Read Rev. Dr. John Morehouse’s doctoral thesis – Creating Theology Together – A Curriculum for Spiritual Leadership Development
Rev. Ed Thompson
Minister of Music
(203) 227-7205 ext. 18
Edward Thompson, D.M.A., has been at this Church since 1978. He holds a Masters Degree from the Juilliard School and his Doctorate from the University of Hartford. Dr. Thompson is a past Dean of the Fairfield West Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and has concertized throughout the United States and Europe. In addition, he teaches privately, coaches, composes and accompanies throughout the area. He is an active member of the Unitarian-Universalist Musician’s Network.
Rev. Shelly Thompson
Assistant Minister for Faith Formation
(203) 227-7205 ext. 17
I am Rev. Shelly Thompson, and I am delighted to be your new Assistant Minister for Faith Formation! A little bit about my background: I was raised by wonderful parents along with my two older brothers, in the San Francisco Bay Area. I grew up going to the Congregational church which was open to questions about faith, but ultimately, was not a theological match for me. In my early twenties, I became a spiritual seeker and avoided organized religion for many years. I went off to college upstate New York, and since then, I have moved quite a lot in pursuit of my passions and my education. Connecticut is state number eight for me, and it means that I will have officially been a resident in all five of the UUA regions! I will be living in Fairfield and happily, I will be within a relatively short commute to church. I bring with me my darling dog, Onyx, a 10 year old Black Lab. If you like dogs, he will be excited to play ball and share his stuffed animals, Teddy and Mr. Cow, with you. READ MORE…
Rev. Jim Francek
Community Minister for Pastoral Care
(203) 227-7205 ext 22
Senior Minister Rev. John Morehouse, in consultation with congregational leadership, has appointed the Rev. Jim Francek as our Volunteer Community Minister for Pastoral Care. Jim and his wife Pat have been active members of our congregation for many years leading various support groups and he has act as a coach and trainer for our Pastoral Care Chaplains. Jim will report directly to Rev. John and will respect the same covenant of confidentiality that he follows in his role as a Chaplain for the Bridgeport Hospital.
Jim received his BA in Philosophy from Sacred Heart Seminary in 1963, this was followed by four years of postgraduate studies in Theology, Humanities and Counseling at St. John Seminary. He was ordained a Catholic priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1967. He served in St. Mary’s Church in Royal Oak and then at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. During the early years of his ministry he was very active in the roles of leading liturgy, teaching, counseling, pastoral care and social action. Following the civil disruption in Detroit in 1967, he was active in the Interfaith Center for Racial Justice and also worked closely with community leaders in creating a response to the increasing problems with heroin addiction in Detroit.
In 1972 he left the active priesthood to be married to his life partner Patricia. In 1973 he started a career in the field of Employee Assistance. He received his MSW from the University of Michigan in 1976. During this time Pat and he were to have two beautiful children Kate and Pete. Over the next 13 years he worked in the medical departments of Kelsey Hayes, Ford and Exxon as the senior professional developing systematic approaches to persons impacted by addiction or behavioral health issues. In 1986, he created his own firm focused on providing consultation and group facilitation around resiliency in the many organizations faced with downsizing, relocation and closure.
He and Pat returned to Connecticut in 2007 to be close to their family. In 2008 he created a website: www.ceremonieswithoutboundaries.com from which he launched a ministry- at-large offering to the unchurched. Under this format he prepares and creates customized marriage and memorial ceremonies. He pursued training in hospital chaplaincy and now works as a chaplain in the Emergency Department of Bridgeport Hospital. He also serves on the Ethics Committee of that hospital. In 2008 Jim and Pat became part of TUCW congregation. In 2013 he was asked by members of the board of trustees to lead efforts in creating our TUCW Pastoral Care Chaplain Ministry. Within the last eighteen months he has also been active in assisting in developing our Addiction Recovery Ministry (ARM).
Jim will coordinate the overall pastoral outreach for our growing congregation. You may reach Jim directly on 203-227-7205 ext 22 or by email.
Rev. Frank Hall
Frank Hall was called to this congregation in 1984, after serving a Unitarian Universalist church in Attleboro, Massachusetts, where he was ordained in 1972.
He has a Master of Theology degree from Boston University. His undergraduate degree is from Salem State College, and a Master’s in Education from Northeastern University in Boston. He taught at Wellesley High School from 1962-69, when he entered seminary.
I am the first Unitarian Universalist in my family. In fact, I don’t believe anyone in my family had ever heard of UU until my introduction to the faith some five years ago. For me, it was lifesaving and I joined the Unitarian Universalist Society of Cleveland in Ohio shortly after I started attending. I grew up in a large Haitian family in Miami, Florida, where I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness. During my childhood and most of my teenage years, I believed all other religions were false and based on deception. I’ve long since left the religion and beliefs of my childhood. My spiritual journey has been somewhat rocky and turbulent, trying on different faiths and eventually absenting from religion all together. For a while I became a “none” and claimed to be spiritual but not religious. However, I realized that I, in fact, needed religion too. Fortunately and by happenstance, I stumbled unto Unitarian Universalist. I have not looked back.
My involvement with UU has led me to seminary. My call to ministry is influenced by more than one factor. However, they all derive from a sense of responsibility. It is my belief that religion has and continues to cause so much pain in the world; something I know too well. Being in ministry, especially ministering to those who might have had a turbulent spiritual background, will be a way for me to assuage some of the suffering. I am also motivated by the lack of racial and cultural diversity within the Unitarian Universalist faith. So, I feel a sense of responsibility, as a person of color, to make UU spaces as welcoming as possible. For me, being a minister is one way to accomplish this.
I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University, and a Master of Science in Administration (with a focus on Healthcare administration) from Central Michigan University. Currently, I am pursuing a Master of Divinity degree at Meadville Lombard Theological School.
Prior to seminary, I was a Human and Social Services professional who worked with the following marginalized groups: developmentally disabled, battered women, and youth adjudicated into the foster care system by the courts. More recently, I worked as a Director of Program Services with Resources for Human Development in Wallingford, CT. I also worked as Center Manager for Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disability in Cleveland Ohio, and as a domestic violence counselor in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
I’m currently a single woman with a large support system that consist of friends and family. I live in Cromwell Connecticut and am a member of the Unitarian Society of Hartford. At USH, I serve as a worship associate and teach OWL.