Reverend Jeff Briere
I grew up in Indianapolis, where I enjoyed catching crawdads along the banks of Fall Creek, which drifted by my house. As for church, I call myself a Teflon Catholic—nothing stuck to me, even after eight years of Catholic grade school and six years of Jesuit higher education.
You might say I was un-churched for many years, but I often say that I attended church in the theatre. For more than forty years, in theatres around the world, I have found close-knit groups of creative people working together and dedicated to something larger than themselves. Sounds like church, right?
I learned to love the community I found in the theatre. I learned that when we work together we could make magic.
I soldiered for eight years and after that, sold clothing, sold maps, and sold used cars. Went back to college twice. I spent thirteen years announcing and producing music programs for National Public Radio. All of which was good training for the ministry, but it wasn’t magic.
To learn more about the magic of community, I entered Meadville Lombard Theological School in 1998 at the age of 50. The Unitarian Universalist Church of Chattanooga was my first settlement and I served congregations in Richmond VA and Cedar Rapids IA.
I’m not a magician, but I’d like to be around when it happens—when a congregation finds its power, when it becomes what it’s supposed to be. Margaret Mead said that we should “never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world” .
Indeed. All it takes is magic.