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2007 Recipients

The Rev. William Sinkford, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA), and the Rev. Terry Sweetser, Vice President for Stewardship and Development, are pleased to announce the winners of the 2007 Richard Borden and Paul Holton Awards for Sermonic Excellence competition.

First Place:

Learning the Principles by Heart
Leslie Becknell, Andover Newton Theological School

Second Place:

Can't We Get Along? Loving Your (Political) Opponent
Jessica Purple Rodela, Meadville Lombard Theological School

Runners Up:

(listed alphabetically by author)

Putting 'Labor' Back in Labor Day
David Breeden, Meadville Lombard Theological School

What We Can Do For Religion Today
Holly Anne Lux-Sullivan, Meadville Lombard Theological School

Embracing Our Aging
Catherine Senghas, Andover Newton Theological School

All five award recipients will each receive an award certificate and cash prize of $8,000. They will also be named in the 2007 General Assembly program book and invited to a joint luncheon of the UUA President's Council and Annual Program Fund Committee at this year's General Assembly in Portland, Oregon.

This year's contest was restricted to Unitarian Universalist (UU) theology students who had aspirant or candidate status prior to January 1, 2007. Entries were anonymously read and evaluated based on how well they met several criteria, including describing ways in which Unitarian Universalists (UUs) can apply the seven principles of Unitarian Universalism to better our world, country, communities, and the lives of family, friends, and others.

Special consideration was given to sermons which demonstrate how UUs, individually or collectively, can take leadership roles in these efforts. In particular, the judges sought sermons that focused on turning hope and good intentions into practical action, with the goal of making UU principles come alive to solve problems and move our world to a better place.

A wide variety of topics were addressed in the entries submitted, including racism, poverty, the prison industrial complex, and global warming, just to name a few. The unwavering commitment to truth and social justice displayed in the sermons speaks volumes about the quality of our future ministers and the vitality of our liberal religious movement.

Continuing in the tradition of our UU forebears, our theological students are speaking out and taking action— and daring others to do the same—on some of the most pressing issues of our time.

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Last updated on Thursday, September 8, 2011.

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