It’s a privilege to have the Rev. Bruce Taylor as my guest. Bruce is a newly minted UU minister, ordained last November (2009). And just a few weeks ago, he was called by the congregation of First Parish Church in Billerica, Massachusetts, to be their minister.
Bruce’s journey is a story of personal transformation. The devastating death of his wife, from cancer, coupled with the loss of his job, turned life upside down. Juxtaposed with the loss and uncertainty, Bruce was buoyed by the outpouring of support from his church, which rallied around him.
Fast forward to a Memorial Day weekend in Bar Harbor, Maine. Daydreaming over a beer, Bruce saw himself as a UU minister, in a position to nourish a community and pay back what he had received. Reflecting upon the audaciousness of choosing to pursue the ministry, Bruce quotes Thoreau:
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
Some five years after that Bar Harbor vision, Bruce was ordained.
In our 46 minute conversation, Bruce relates his journey, including the process of becoming a UU minister, some personal theology, his outlook for Unitarian Universalism, and the role of a minister. Listen with the above audio player, download the mp3 file here, or subscribe via iTunes.
My conversation with Bruce was recorded a month before he was called by the Billerica UU church, which is why you’ll hear him refer to that as a possibility. He mentions several items during the podcast that you may wish to read more about:
- Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with A Thousand Faces
- Andover Newton Theological School
- Congregational polity: read a general description here and material focused on congregational polity within Unitarian Universalism here.
- Unitarian and Universalist ministers James Luther Adams, Hosea Ballou, and William Ellery Channing
- John Shelby Spong, Episcopal bishop and liberal Christian theologian
Our theme music is Floating Souls, composed and performed by Ambrish and courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network. The chalice artwork was created by Inga Johannesen, of the UU Church of Chattanooga, Tennessee.