Recently designated as an historic landmark, the Sepulveda Unitarian Universalist Society, took part in the Civil Rights and Peace movements of the 1960’s. The spiritually liberal and politically progressive congregation looks forward to renewing their commitment to social and environmental justice, equality and peace under the stewardship of their new minister, himself an experienced activist leader in the human rights movement.
Online PR News – 22-July-2010 – – SAN FERNANDO VALLEY, CA – On August 8, 2010 at 10:30 am, the congregation of the Sepulveda Unitarian Universalist Society, located at 9550 Haskell Avenue, North Hills, CA 91343, will welcome the Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kwong as their new consulting minister.
Raised in an ecumenical background, Jonipher values his pluralistic upbringing – from Evangelical to United Methodist, Episcopalian to Calvary Chapel. He was christened at a Gospel church and baptized as a Chinese Mennonite. In Hawai‘i, Jonipher was a member of the Honolulu Mindfulness Community, a sangha influenced by Zen Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hahn.
"I guess you can say I've been born again and again and again, each time with a different understanding of faith. My encounter with that which is holy, divine, or sacred cannot be limited to a single box created by well-meaning human beings. I believe more young people feel that way as well, living in a post-denominational world. As Unitarian Universalists, we too, need to figure out how to transform our movement so that we encompass the lived experience of religious and spiritual people in the contemporary world."
Jonipher has extensive experience in organizing and successfully achieving the aims of progressive community networks. Equally as important, he has the proven ability to bring together groups with variant views into a consensus position.
Jonipher obtained his Masters of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Claremont School of Theology and possesses the experience, energy, and enthusiasm to move the Sepulveda Unitarian Universalist Society forward into a new era of progressive faith, a truly welcoming congregation, and a community dedicated to equality and justice in all matters.
Jonipher comes to Sepulveda Unitarian Universalist Society from California Faith for Equality where he most recently served as an Interfaith Organizer dealing adeptly with the media, organizing congregational trainings, pledge drives for statements of support, drafted interfaith services, and actively worked as a lobbyist from Sacramento to Washington, D.C. helping to articulate the importance of equality and justice to lawmakers. He has also served as consulting minister at the Temecula Valley Unitarian-Universalist Community.
As Executive Director of the Counseling & Spiritual Care Center of Hawai’i - Honolulu, Jonipher aided his organization to become a successful partner of Aloha United Way. While there, he cultivated new programs, worked with the Interfaith Alliance of Hawaii as well as other human service organizations facilitating strategic planning sessions, he recruited clinical psychologists and other skilled professionals to better serve their clientele, as well as facilitating and moderating discussions and meetings around the Hawaiian Islands for the selection of a new Episcopal Bishop in the Diocese of Hawai’i. While in Hawai’i, the Jonipher also founded the Ohana Metropolitan Community Church of Honolulu.
Jonipher graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Film Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Prior to getting “the call,” Jonipher worked in the film industry for three years, followed by two years as a Graphics Specialist at McKinsey & Company in Los Angeles.
Jonipher currently resides in North Long Beach, California, with his partner of 12 years.
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