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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 first ministry was at First Unitarian Church, South Bend, IN. From 1994-2005 he served as Senior Minister of the UU Congregation of Frederick, MD. There he led the congregation through a three-fold increase in membership and budget, and a five-year multi-million dollar building campaign. From 2005-2015, Rev. John was Senior Lead Minister of Pacific Unitarian Church, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. Under his leadership, the congregation grew in size by more than 50% and its budget doubled. In 2008, it was recognized by the UUA as a “Breakthrough Congregation.”
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 (graduated May, 2015), and his thesis “Creating Theology Together: A Curriculum for Spiritual Leadership” is focused on helping church leaders develop their shared theology. Rev. John is also board president and senior consultant of the Chalice Oak Foundation, an organization he founded to incubate and grow UU social justice programs.
At the Unitarian Church in Westport, Rev. John has found his latest calling serving a congregation that is seeking its direction forward, uniting its past with its new future – a congregation committed to growing in spirit, institutional maturity and civic identity. Rev. John talks about “setting free the ministry” in each of us, creating a congregation that is not “minister centered” but “ministry centered.” With his skills in transforming congregations to dream of a better future, and in building stronger communities, Rev. John says, “I believe we could be the religion for our times.”
Rev. John and his wife, Francis, have been married for 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. 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.