Position: Parish Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Utica, N.Y.
How did Hamilton get you where you are today? In Professor Ambrose's class "US Religion and Slavery," I spent all of Christmas break reading about Theodore Parker for a paper and feeling closer to and more energized by my faith than I had in a long time. I learned during my history classes at Hamilton about Buddhism, Taoism, the Russian Orthodox Church schism of 1666 and the historical Jesus. All of this fed my curiosity about theology and religious history and helped motivate me to attend seminary. My four years on the swim team and my one season playing rugby reinforced how much I love being part of a team working toward a common goal, which is really what ministry is about. When I attended Rainbow Alliance meetings at Hamilton, I began the process of committing to LGBTQ justice, which continues to be a strong theme in my ministry. I also enjoyed taking theater classes with Mark Cryer, and often when I am preaching I think about lessons Mark taught me, especially "don't apologize, go all in without fear of failure."
What was your involvement in religious life when you were a student? While I was at Hamilton we had a small Unitarian Universalist student group who met on the third floor of the chapel on occasion to eat cider donuts and catch up with one another. I enjoyed theological conversations with our chaplain, Jeff McArn and always felt he supported my spiritual development. I attended the church that I now serve from time to time in college and enjoyed interfaith opportunities like the Seder and Eid dinners that had campus-wide invites.
Position: Cantor at Temple Beth Am - a Reform Jewish congregation - in Merrick and Bellmore, N.Y.
Major: Music, with undeclared English and Russian Minors
How did Hamilton get you where you are today? My musical education at Hamilton has proven to be invaluable in every musical endeavor since I graduated because of my private voice study with JoElyn Wakefield Wright, my experience singing in the Hamilton College Choir and College Hill Singers, and the thorough education I received in Music Theory. In addition, my experience writing for the Spectator aided me greatly in all of the articles and publications I have submitted on a regular basis to synagogue newsletters and local publications.
What was your involvement in religious life when you were a student? It was at Hamilton that I became religiously active for the first time in my life. I attended and participated in all of the functions and holiday services of the Hamilton Jewish students' organization under the direction of Professor Peter Zaas at the time. For many years after I graduated, I returned to lead the Kol Nidre for Yom Kippur Evening services under the direction of Professor Heidi Ravven.
Position: Founder of “Spirit Story,” which designs original presentations blending biblical storytelling and personal stories, in Shrewsbury, MA. I design original presentations blending biblical storytelling with personal stories as a way to bring the gospel to life and to inspire the church to move forward in hope and joy. I tell scripture by heart, preach, lead retreats and workshops.
How did Hamilton get you where you are today? Hamilton taught me to think critically, to speak persuasively and to write articulately. There is a graceful intelligence evident in my ministry, thanks in part to Hamilton. Also, my experience on stage in theatre productions taught me skills I use in ministry today.
What was your involvement in religious life when you were a student? I attended Hamilton College Chapel services and my grandmother brought me to First Baptist Church in Hamilton, NY whenever I visited her on a weekend.
Position: Assistant to the Bishop for Stewardship in the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts
How did Hamilton get you where you are today? Most importantly, Hamilton prepared me as a public speaker. Much of my work in stewardship formation involves speaking to groups, whether it involves preaching lay sermons or leading stewardship formation workshops. Without the training I received in public speaking at Hamilton, I would not be doing this ministry work.
What was your involvement in religious life when you were a student? When I was on the Hill, Hamilton had a mandatory chapel requirement that one could fulfill by attending worship services elsewhere. I worshiped regularly at St. James’ Episcopal Church in Clinton, even teaching Sunday school one year.