Who I Am

“The colorful tapestry of my life informs and energizes my ministry.”  —Rev. Jennifer Brooks

Personal. I was raised on the Chesapeake Bay 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. Together with my children, Jamie and Kevin, I’m part of a “United Nations family” (Asian-American, African-American, and European-American) (my children are both adopted). Our dinner-table conversations involved my children’s personal experiences with racism and racial identity; we talked about morality, ethics, rights, responsibilities, and the risks of stereotypes and assumptions. Their perspectives have shaped my own and have reinforced my commitment to creating justice in the world.

The colorful tapestry of my life informs and energizes my ministry. 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.”
Photo: Camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area.

Professional. I’m called to Unitarian Universalist ministry and especially to transition ministry. I’m an Accredited Interim Minister; Vice-President of the UUMA’s Transition Ministers Chapter (the professional organization for ministers committed to intentional, focused transition ministry). I thrived during my years in settled ministry, yet began to see how effective transition work could create a solid foundation for a successful new settlement. My background in multicultural settings, even my experience with managing conflict, all translate well to intentional interim ministry.

With the encouragement of UUA Transitions Director Keith Kron, in 2011 I gave in to my yearning to accompany congregations through the challenge and possibility of transition. In this work I find deep joy. It is the outpouring of my love for Life and for my UU people. 

Photo: Child dedication ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland

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