Minister and author Rev. Alice Blair Wesley is the 2009 recipient of the Award for Distinguished Service to the Cause of Unitarian Universalism from the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Rev. Burton Carley will present the Award for Distinguished Service to Wesley at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 27th, in Hall E of the Salt Palace Center in Salt Lake City, UT, as part of the UUA’s 2009 General Assembly.
The Award for Distinguished Service, one of the most prestigious awards given by the Unitarian Universalist Association, recognizes those who have strengthened the institutions of Unitarian Universalism or clarified the message of Unitarian Universalism in an extraordinary way.
Wesley is an influential author best known for her exploration of covenantal theology in Unitarian Universalism. In 2000-2001, Wesley delivered a series of six lectures on covenant as the selected speaker for The Minns Lectures. Her lectures were published by Meadville Press as Our Covenant in 2002. Our Covenant has been quoted in hundreds of sermons, used as a text in Unitarian Universalist history and polity courses in half a dozen seminaries, and explored in congregational study groups.
“She has constantly called attention to the wisdom of the people in the pews and reminded us how we are gathered so that we might grow in love,” stated the selection committee in their citation. “Her candor, insight, and scholarship have blessed our congregations. Our movement is stronger due to [her] unfailing persistence.”
"I cannot but be pleased,” said Wesley upon learning that she has been selected for the 2009 Distinguished Service Award, “if others think my work to deepen Unitarian Universalists’ understanding of our covenant has been fruitful."
Wesley’s other writings, which include articles, papers, and poems, have been published in The Register/Leader, The UU Christian, Kairos, Faith and Freedom, UU World, the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association’s Selected Essays and the Meadville/ Lombard Reader.
As a parish minister from 1978-1995, Wesley served congregations in Texas, New Jersey, and Maryland. She has also been a leader in Unitarian Universalist Advance, the Joseph Priestley District Women and Religious Committee, the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, and the International Association for Religious Freedom.
Wesley now lives in Bellevue, WA, and Allentown, PA, with her husband of nearly fifty-four years, Joe Wesley.
The Unitarian Universalist Association is a faith community of more than 1000 self-governing congregations that bring to the world a vision of religious freedom, tolerance and social justice. For more information about the UUA, including recent press releases and news articles, please visit our press room.
Shelby Meyerhoff, Public Witness Specialist
Unitarian Universalist Association
pw_specialist @ uua.org
The full text of the award citation will be available after June 27th, 2009.