Reverend Jennifer Brooks - Interim Senior Minister
First UU welcomes Interim Senior Minister Rev. Jennifer Brooks and her son, Kevin, to their new home in Clintonville.
The colorful tapestry of my life informs and energizes my work as a parish minister. I’ve learned the importance of treating people with respect, listening carefully, and trying to spot the way that different “perception filters” create misunderstanding. The most satisfying moment is when people who see things differently begin to understand one another. It may not cause them to agree, but it keeps them working together, keeps them moving toward compassion. Life is a journey, and we’re all traveling in the same “blue boat home.”
I was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on the Chesapeake Bay, and raised by parents who love both water and wilderness. My ancestors were voyageurs, freethinkers, immigrants, revolutionaries. My spirituality is grounded in the beauty of the natural world and a feeling of connection to all that is. With a background in law and international development, I’ve had the opportunity to work with diverse people in multicultural settings to create positive change. The greatest adventures of my life have happened when I was open to new experiences.
My children, Jamie (28) and Kevin (19) and I are, together, a “United Nations family” (Asian-American, African-American, and European-American) (they are both adopted). As they were growing up, our dinner-table conversations reflected my children’s personal experience with racism and racial identity, leading to talk about morality, ethics, rights, responsibilities, and the risks of making assumptions. Their perspectives have reinforced my commitment to creating justice in the world.
Rev Eric Meter - Associate Minister
Eric Meter has been with First UU since May 2008. Born and raised Unitarian Universalist, Eric comes to our congregation after ten years of ministry in northern California and an interim ministry year in upstate New York.
After completing his Masters of Divinity at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, and then a ministerial internship under the late Rev. Dan O’Neal at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Rosa, Eric served the Unitarian Universalist Church in Livermore, California until 2007. During his tenure there he was president of the local Interfaith Council, and co-chaired a marketing campaign of 17 UU congregations the San Francisco Bay area. Other highlights of his ministry there included travelling twice to visit his congregation’s partner church in Transylvania, leading a youth service trip to New Orleans to help in the post-Katrina rebuilding efforts and preaching in Soweto during a sabbatical month in South Africa. In 2007 Eric received the Distinguished Service Award from the Pacific Central District of the UUA.
Prior to answering the call to ministry, Eric was a VISTA volunteer with the Minnesota Literacy Council in St. Paul, MN and also worked with the Twin Cities’ Southeast Asian refugee and immigrant communities. During that time, Eric was also active in both local and district UU young adult programming.