Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church: Prominent Texas Pastor Retiring After 27 Years
Horizon’s affirmation says that “love is the doctrine of our church... and service is its prayer”.
Carrollton, TX (PRUnderground) May 9th, 2014
Rev. Dennis Hamilton, who has served as a visionary leader in promoting progressive values, social justice, and interfaith activism in North Texas for 27 years, will retire as senior minister of Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church on May 20, 2014—his 70th birthday. With Rev. Hamilton, a graduate of Starr King School for the Ministry, serving as the organizing minister, Horizon was officially chartered in 1987 with 34 members. It has since grown into a thriving mid-size church with more than 300 adult members and 100 children and youth.
“This community and this church have taught me to be a better man,” said Rev. Hamilton. “As a transforming force in the community, Horizon has established itself as a pillar of progressive religion in North Texas, an area that historically has had little representation of liberal values. As UUs, we are called to be moral leaders–and to make a positive difference in our neighborhoods, our communities, and our world.”
Horizon’s affirmation that “love is the doctrine of our church…and service is its prayer,” serves as a foundational principle for the leadership role it has always taken in social justice and community service. Guided by the leadership of Rev. Hamilton, Horizon has established itself as a prominent institution it he community championing progressive causes and liberal religion with a number of social service and social justice initiatives, including:
· Assisting with the implementation and growth of Metrocrest Services;
· Bringing a Family Counseling Place outreach center to Carrollton;
· Creating the Metrocrest CROP Hunger Walk;
· Helping to establish the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade in Carrollton;
· Sponsoring and participating in demonstrations for human and environmental rights, women and GLBT rights, peace, and others;
· Initiating a school-age parent program at Mary Grimes School in Carrollton;
· Organizing blood drives, food drives, Heifer International, and Habitat for Humanity projects;
· Donating 100% of its congregational offering once a month to a charitable organization;
· Offering pastoral care, shared interest groups, small group ministries, addiction recovery, youth education, and other free support services to the community.
To facilitate the changes coming in the years ahead, Horizon has developed bylaws and policies that will serve it well in its transition to a Board-Executive Team model of governance and the appointment of a new senior minister. Rev. Hamilton and his wife Mary Kay will move this summer to Monterey, California, where they plan to spend time with their children and grandchildren.
The Reverend continues to be excited about the possibilities that he sees for Horizon’s future to continue to act as a catalyst for good. “I’ve learned to be a patient man,” he says with a smile. “We plant trees that will not give shade in our lifetime. But you plant them anyway. We planted our little church here to be a progressive voice in the wilderness of North Texas. And that work will continue.”
For more information, please visit the Horizon website at www.horizonuu.org. Rev. Hamilton is available for interviews. Please contact the church office at 972.492.4940.
ABOUT UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISM:
Unitarian Universalist congregations are bound by common principles, rather than a creed or dogma, and encourage the pursuit of a personal religious vision, a commitment to social justice, and to building a “beloved community”. The congregation strives to be a welcoming, inclusive congregation, especially in areas of gender, race, sexual orientation, economic status and ability.
See more at: http://horizonuu.org
About Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church
ABOUT HORIZON’S HISTORY:
In 1985, the Metroplex area was expanding dramatically toward Lewisville and other cities north of Dallas. That year, the Rev. John Buehrens of First Unitarian Church of Dallas urged the creation of a UU congregation in Northwest Dallas County because of the area’s growth. Martha Robinson had just finished a term as president of First Church, and she agreed to spearhead the effort. In September of 1986, 15 people from First Church and Dallas North (Plano area) gathered for their first regular meeting. They began meeting in a small shopping center in Farmers Branch. The church expanded three times before purchasing six acres of land and erecting its permanent location in 1995 at 1641 W. Hebron Parkway.
In 2010, Horizon completed a complete remodel and expansion to the building that included the creation of a Meditation Garden, expanded classrooms, a new vestibule, and a fellowship hall.