Submitted by Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation
After an intensive, year-long search The Rev. Thomas Perchlik was enthusiastically called to lead the Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation (OUUC). The Rev. Perchlik comes to Olympia from First Unitarian Church of St. Louis, Missouri, where he was minister since August 2011. He will lead his first congregational service on August 14.
“We are excited to welcome The Rev. Perchlik,” said Melanie Ransom, a member of the seven-person search committee. “He brings his passion for social justice as well as experience in guiding a congregation like ours that is rapidly growing and committed to making a difference in the Olympia community.”
During his years of ministry, The Rev. Perchlik has been active and involved in social justice issues, often taking a leadership role in ecumenical activities to address issues of importance in the local community as well as state and national arenas. He was drawn to the OUUC, in part, because of its focus around social justice issues, and particularly its accomplishments around ending homelessness. The OUUC played a key role in the development of Quixote Village, a 2.17-acre, $3.05 million real estate development housing previously homeless adults in Olympia. It was featured in a New York Times article as a template for homeless housing projects across the country. The OUUC also supports Out of The Woods Family Shelter, which is located on OUUC property.
“I love working in the larger community,” Perchlik says. “It is an important part of my ministry to my church. I have come to see the unique gifts we Unitarian Universalists have to add to the larger liberal religious cry for justice.”
“My idea of the best church would be one whose members seek a robust understanding of our religious identity, and one that includes the global range of Unitarian Universalist history,” said Perchlik. “I desire a congregation that actively supports ministerial excellence.”
On August 7 at 12:30 pm, the Reverend Thomas Perchlik will dedicate the Black Lives Matter banner on the congregation’s building. Reverend Perchlik brings his experience with Black Lives Matter from his work in St. Louis and Ferguson. The banner is a visible statement of OUUC’s commitment to address racism, implicit bias, and inequality, and a call to all people to join the movement toward a just world community. It is also a response to the national Unitarian Universalist Association’s call for its member congregations to support the Black Lives Matter movement and black-led justice organizations working for racial justice. OUUC offers forums and workshops to develop deeper understanding of the interconnected nature of racism with all systems of bias. The public is invited to join these conversations about ways to build a community that is equitable for all. For more information, contact Faithinactionministry@ouuc.org.
About the Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation
In 1952, a small band of like-minded folk founded the Unitarian Fellowship of Olympia, which went on to become the Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation. Unitarian Universalists believe that each person is free to search for his or her own personal truth on issues, such as the existence, nature, and meaning of life, deities, creation, and afterlife. UUs can come from any religious background, and hold beliefs and adhere to morals from a variety of cultures or religions. The OUUC recognizes that being located in the state capital gives us special opportunities and responsibilities. In fulfilling our mission, we proclaim Unitarian Universalist values and advocate legislation that upholds them. OUUC Mission Statement: We are a liberal religious community that opens minds, fills hearts, and transforms lives.