First Unitarian calls its first woman Senior Minister

September 7, 2012 By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Reverend Ana Levy-Lyons, the First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn's first female Senior Minister.
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The First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn has called the Reverend Ana Levy-Lyons to be its first woman Senior Minister, effective Aug. 1. She will preach her first sermon this Sunday, Sept. 9, at the 11:00 a.m. service.

Other women have served First Unitarian Church as ordained ministers, including, recently, the Rev. Orlanda Brugnola, who is now minister emeritus. However, until now, only men had been called as Senior Minister.

This historic church, founded in 1833 as a center of liberal religion, will mark its 180th year in 2013. The sanctuary, designed by noted 19th century Minard Lafever, was dedicated in 1844.

The congregation and its new Senior Minister are already at work, developing the vision and service that will be a hallmark of her ministry, to members and friends of the congregation and also to the larger community of Brooklyn and beyond. This ministry will include establishment of the Servetus Library of Liberal Religion, a lending library of books and periodicals about liberal religion that will be open to the public.

Although she is still in the early period of her ordained ministry, Rev. Levy-Lyons has already been honored for her inspirational preaching. She has received the Borden Sermon Award for “Getting Real about Food”, the Jerry Davidoff Award for “Hear, O Unitarian Universalists!” and the Dana Greeley Award for “The Expediter. She has published articles in CRITERION, a University of Chicago publication; and UU WORLD and TIKKUN, where she is a Contributing Editor.

Rev. Levy-Lyons was formerly the Acting Associate Minister of All Souls Unitarian Church in Manhattan and also served as Assistant Minister of Unity Temple, Unitarian Universalist Congregation, in Oak Park, Illinois. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University and received the master of divinity degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School.

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