The Reverend Margaret Haynes Allen became our called Minister on January 13, 2013, following a two-and-a-half-year term as our Consulting Minister. The congregation decided overwhelming in favor of calling Margie, with a 97.5% affirmative vote. "Margie" (pronounced with a hard "g") - "Rev Margie" to the children - started her ministry with us on August 16, 2010. Before coming to Long Island, Margie served for three years as Associate Minister with the Unitarian Church in Westport, CT, her first settled ministry. She graduated in 2004 from Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, one of two Unitarian Universalist seminaries in the US. After seminary Margie completed two years of residency in hospital chaplaincy in Chicago hospitals and during that interval was ordained by her internship congregation, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis (MD) on February 12, 2005.
Margie was born and raised in southwest Virginia on the campus of Hollins University, where her father taught in the English Department. She majored in Greek at Bryn Mawr College and graduated in 1978 with vague intentions of answering the call to ministry she had felt some years earlier. Instead she became a nurse and began a 22-year career in cardiac surgery intensive care nursing, a career she now sees as a critical part of her "seminary" training. Margie came to UUism in 1987 when she joined the UU Church of Roanoke, VA. A favorite high school teacher, an aunt and uncle, and her best friends in nursing school had all been UUs, but Margie's spiritual development moved her toward the UU faith by the long route - through her Christian Sunday school upbringing, a decade or so with the Episcopal "god," some time of personal healing with "goddess" of women's spirituality, and some years of earth-centered practice inspired by her organic gardening and interest in embodied ritual practice.
On May 30, 2010, Margie "married" her partner Linda Anderson (in Kingston, NY, where marriage equality was not yet law) and soon after moved with Linda, Linda's young adult son, Matthew, two kitties and a chocolate lab to south Stony Brook. After the June 2011 passage of marriage equality in New York, Margie and Linda were "New York-married" during a "Standing on the Side of Love" social justice Sunday service on Valentine's Day weekend 2012 in which we celebrated the congregation's collective work towards the passage of the marriage equality bill.
Vegetable, herb and flower gardening are still passions. Margie also loves swimming, biking and rowing/kayaking, cooking and baking. Mindfulness Buddhism, Nonviolent (Compassionate) Communication, the local food movement, the enneagram, organizational development and the connection between faith and social justice are some of her current interests.