Benjamin Van Dyne is a PhD student in theology at Fordham University, where his work focuses on white and Christian supremacy and social solidarity in the face of violence and suffering. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and worked as a community organizer in Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, New York City and Long Island before attending Union Theological Seminary, where he graduated in with his Master of Divinity. He was raised in the UU church of Arlington, Virginia, and continues to be active in local church communities. He lives in Manhattan with his partner and two children.
Titles of programs/sermons and a brief statement of content on each:
- I tend to preach according to the context, both in terms of the particular congregation I’m addressing and according to the news of the world. That said, here are some recent examples of sermons that I would be happy to adapt for a different congregation, or that may give you a sense of how I tend to approach things. I’m also happy to entertain each congregation’s ideas or themes.
- What We Do Together – Reflecting on my mother’s journey to Unitarian Universalism, this sermon lifts up kinds of freedom rooted in interdependence rather than individualism.
- Doubting Doubt – This sermon suggests that the measure of our doubt is not whether we are more correct than others, but whether our doubt helps us to love them—and points out some of the ways it can be tempting to fall short.
- Blessings and Other Stolen Goods – Framed with the story of Jacob stealing a dying blessing from his father Isaac, this sermon challenges us to think about the “blessings” that come to us as a result of white supremacy.
- Any Body and Every Body – A reflection on what we mean when we say that “bodies are good,” and how we work to make that a lived reality and not just a slogan.
Availability: Year Round and preferably within 2 hours of New York City, although negotiable. Home hospitality may be requested based on distance.
Fee arrangements: Generally I request the standard UUMA rates for presenters plus IRS mileage or reimbursement for NYC-area public transit. However within reason, he's happy to negotiate the fee and/or transportation.
Contact: Email Benjamin Van Dyne at firstname.lastname@example.org