Brooklyn Heights

Plymouth Church bids godspeed to beloved assistant minister

Huber Took on Leading Role in Interfaith Clergy Association

August 9, 2016 By Francesca Norsen Tate Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Plymouth Church bid farewell last Sunday to the Rev. Dr. Jane Huber, who has served this faith community as Interim Assistant Minister for the past three years.

Starting at Plymouth during the summer of 2013, Huber served with Interim Senior Ministers Alvin Bunis and Tom Lenhart. Huber has also served during the opening months of new Senior Minister Rev. Dr. Brett Younger’s pastorate here.

An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, Huber has developed educational programming and curriculum for pre-K through high school students in New York area churches since 2006.

Currently a lecturer at Union Theological Seminary, and an adjunct professor in the Religion Department at Hofstra University, Huber will be expanding her responsibilities at Union, which is also her alma mater for her master of divinity and doctoral degrees.

Huber wrote in Plymouth’s most recent weekly e-news, “I am excited to work on two initiatives at Union, one focused on supporting ministers at mid-career, funded by Eli Lilly [Lilly Endowment Fund], and the other on supporting and building interfaith relationships and community. I’ll also be teaching a class on the history of Intentional Communities. From the opportunity to teach and minister at Plymouth, and the opportunity to support the Brooklyn Heights Clergy Association as co-president, I have learned many things that I will take into this work. My time at Plymouth has increased my commitment to and understanding of ministry and the importance of interfaith work and community building.”

During her farewell reception, congregants spoke of Huber’s quiet, reflective insight and her own compassion for others. They also presented her with a painting of Plymouth Church’s façade from Orange St., by artist Katherine Kincaid.

“Jane has been involved in every aspect of this church in her couple of years here. Although maybe most of us have seen her in the pulpit, what you probably don’t know the whole array of things that she has done,” said congregant Sandra Deming.

Deming described the programs that Huber helped initiate, among them a women’s retreat and the widely popular interfaith Scripture studies, with Congregation Mount Sinai and Dawood Mosque. Huber also took on the coordination of the Brooklyn Heights Clergy Association.

Plymouth member Robert Ferris, speaking on the youth ministry, said, “We’re all part of a larger community of God — not just the members of Plymouth, but the employees and staff and students as well. It’s these connections that form our family bond and make us strong as a whole. So when one of our own leaves, it affects all of us. The famous naturalist John Muir said, ‘When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.’ Well, Jane, you will always be hitched to Plymouth Church, and to all of us who have been lucky enough to spend this time with you.”

Referring to virtuous actions in “Romans 12,” Ferris said, “You have stirred, taught, encouraged, given and cheerfully led us; and we are a far better community because of it.

“Whenever a Confirmation student had a question or a doubt, or simply wanted further clarity on any subject, Jane was there, successful in condensing a complex subject into a laymen’s — or in this case, a child’s — understanding. I found this to be an amazing gift.”

Ferris said, “I believe each and every child that Jane has worked with would tell you that Jane brought a sense of intelligence, insight and compassion to our groups, and helped build a strong foundation on which our children will travel on their journey of faith. This insight and compassion are seen in Jane’s involvement and instigation of the Brooklyn Heights Interfaith Youth Group. We have visited the Dawood Mosque — the oldest mosque in New York — the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue and the Unitarian Church. It has been amazing to see these children of various faiths come together, learn about each other’s faiths, work on community service projects…and to serve and share a meal together. It’s truly inspiring to witness and can only build on our children’s faith, understanding and compassion for others.”

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