Jonipher Kūpono Kwong

Full name: Rev Dr. Jonipher Kūpono Kwong (he/they)

Headshot of Jonipher Kwong wearing a gray suit with dark green background.

The Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kūpono Kwong currently serves as Interim Senior Minister at Fourth Universalist Society in New York, NY. Previously, Jonipher served as the UUA's Ministerial Credentialing Director and Congregational Life Staff for the Pacific Western Region. He is also a Program Leader for the UU College of Social Justice.

Born and raised in the Philippines, most of Jonipher's adult life was spent in California and Hawai'i. He served as the Minister of the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu—where former President Barack Obama went to Sunday School as a child. Jonipher founded ‘Ohana Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) in Honolulu, served as interim minister at Resurrection Beach MCC, and consulting minister at Sepulveda Unitarian Universalist Society and the Temecula Valley Unitarian Universalist Community. His nonprofit experience included serving as Executive Director of the Counseling & Spiritual Care Center of Hawai‘i and API Equality-LA.

Raised in an ecumenical background, Dr. Kwong values his pluralistic upbringing—from Evangelical to United Methodist, Episcopalian to Calvary Chapel. He was christened at a Gospel church and baptized as a Chinese Mennonite. In Hawai‘i, Jonipher was a member of the Honolulu Mindfulness Community, a sangha influenced by Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn. ​Dr. Kwong obtained his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Claremont School of Theology. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Film Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Prior to getting 'the call,' Jonipher worked in the film industry for three years, followed by two years as a Graphics Specialist at McKinsey & Company in Los Angeles.

From Jonipher Kūpono Kwong

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Dear Pacific Western Congregational Leaders, Time and time again, we've heard from you that you need help developing new leaders to further the work of your mission. We're pleased to announce a central location for your leadership needs. Drumroll please... LeaderLab is a set of online resources...

By Jonipher Kūpono Kwong | June 15, 2018 | From Pacific Western Region

CAR Care Leads to Trust Based on… Thin Book of Trust by Charles Feltman When assessing trustworthiness in yourself and others, there are four major qualities to look out for: Competence ability to perform a task or get a job done.

Video | By Jonipher Kūpono Kwong, Pacific Western Region of the UUA | March 15, 2018 | From LeaderLab
Tagged as: Competencies for Leadership, Shared Ministry Teams, Leadership Development

The… controversy surrounding hiring practices of our UUA is a reminder that we have not yet arrived on our journey toward becoming a truly anti-racist, anti-oppressive, multicultural denomination. We have certainly made...

By Jonipher Kūpono Kwong | April 20, 2017 | From Pacific Western Region

I am writing to inform you that Pacific Western Region Staff have made the decision not to hold the Russell Lockwood Leadership School during the summer of 2017....

By Jonipher Kūpono Kwong | December 15, 2016 | From Pacific Western Region

If our Seventh Principle were to become a spiritual practice, what would it look like? There are three adventures in covenantal partnerships that have begun to take root in the Pacific Western Region within the past year—and all because they want to grow deeper in their interdependence with one...

By Jonipher Kūpono Kwong | June 29, 2016 | From Pacific Western Region

You have only 13 days left (until June 30) to sign up for Russell Lockwood Leadership School (RLLS)! Why Leadership School? Why you? RLLS is for anyone who wants to deepen their religious leadership skills, in everything from social action to stewardship, from worship to Web outreach....

By Jonipher Kūpono Kwong | June 17, 2016 | From Pacific Western Region

As Valentine’s Day approaches, love is clearly in the air (as well as balloons, flowers, and chocolates). I invite you to take a moment to think about love in its many splendid forms in your life. While we celebrate the healthy, life-giving love in the coming days, it's important that we also...

By Jonipher Kūpono Kwong | February 9, 2016 | From Pacific Western Region

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