Horizon News & Announcements
May 1 – May 8 : Candidating Week
Candidating Week, between May 1 and May 8, offers you a chance to hear Rev. Lora Brandis preach (not once, but twice) and several opportunities to speak with her in informal settings, including early afternoon coffees, and during potlucks sponsored by various groups at Horizon. Plan to participate, share your love for the church, and let’s welcome her home in style. Click here to view a PDF schedule of Candidating Week. Events labeled “All church welcome” are open to all members regardless of the sponsoring or targeted groups.
Introducing Reverend Lora A. Brandis
Horizon’s Ministerial Search Committee is pleased to announce Reverend Lora A. Brandis as our candidate for the congregation to call as our settled minister. Rev. Lora will bring new talents to our congregation, embolden us to explore our spiritual paths, and inspire us on Sunday mornings. She will help us reach out to the wider community. She is an effective, experienced administrator and looks forward to working with our staff, board, and other lay leaders. Meet Rev. Lora during Candidating Week at Horizon, May 1st through 8th. She will preach both Sundays and there will be many opportunities that week for you to join in welcoming her to Horizon.
When asked to describe her next ministry, Rev. Lora said, “The ministry I hope for will be a balanced one with equal time given to the inner work each soul yearns for and the outer work that calls us as religious people to be justice seekers.” This aspiration aligns with Horizon’s mission statement: “Growing spiritually healthy people who promote love and justice in the world.”
Some of you might remember Rev. Lora’s ministerial internship at Horizon August 2009-May 2010. In the six years since, her ministerial engagements have demonstrated her strengths as a congregational minister and enhanced her leadership skills.
From September 2010-July 2011, she served two congregations in a yoked consulting ministry in Salt Lake City, UT and Pocatello, ID. During these ministries, both congregations increased their annual canvass campaigns (26% and 30%). She successfully led both congregations through specific challenging transitions.
In August 2011, she began a settled ministry with the Conejo Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Newbury Park, CA. During her first year she hired support staff, refined a new pledge system, and shepherded the congregation during a period of financial challenge. She focused her ministry on creating a culture of generosity. She regularly met with members to ask them how their giving served as a spiritual practice. It was deeply gratifying work and the congregation made great progress in recovering from financial stress. She is also very proud of revitalizing their small group ministry. With the help of two volunteers, she trained 14 new facilitators and launched seven “chalice circles” with 65 participants. In 2013 she also earned her Final Fellowship credential from the UUA.
Rev. Lora says, “It was a great joy to serve the Conejo Valley UU Fellowship (CVUUF) which had about 200 members and 70 youth when I left at the end of February 2015. It was incredibly difficult to leave and I grieved deeply the loss of what I thought would be a longtime settlement.” Her husband Frank had remained in Dallas anticipating taking early retirement and joining her in California. However, family needs led them to the difficult decision for her to return to Dallas in February 2015.
During the past year Rev. Lora has freelance preached and conducted weddings and memorial services. She began a hospital chaplain residency at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas in November 2015. She is probably the first Unitarian Universalist chaplain to serve at this more than 100-year-old Baptist institution. Rev. Lora says, “The residency coincides with my acceptance as a meditation student of Ruben Habito, a Perkins professor, former Catholic priest and Zen master. The hospital halls are a perfect place for me to practice boundless compassion as I expand my ministry of presence.”
Rev. Lora graduated high school in Houston, TX and earned a BA in Ibero-American Studies and a BFA in Theatre from SMU. Her early work history includes teaching, writing, directing and fund raising for the Dallas Children’s Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico and WaterTower Theatre. From 1999 to 2003 she worked for Rainmaker Advertising as the client relations manager. In the fall of 2003 she served as the director of development and public relations for Nexus Recovery Center, a substance abuse treatment center for indigent women with accompanying children. During this time she began classes at Perkins School of Theology at SMU. She resigned in May 2008 in order to complete clinical pastoral education at Parkland Hospital, one of the largest public hospitals in the nation. She returned to Nexus Recovery Center from April to August 2009 to consult on a housing project and again in the summer of 2010 as a freelance writer.
Lora and her husband, Frank Peña, have been married for 16 years and each have two daughters. Three of their daughters (Emily, Lydia, and Zoe), one son-in-law (Paul), and one granddaughter (Aida) live in the area. Lora’s older daughter, Sarah, will finish graduate school at Syracuse University in June.
Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church encourages you to attend
weekly worship here within your community
Sundays 10:30 am - 1641 W. Hebron Pkwy, Carrollton TX 75010
Sunday, May 1, 2016
The Shape of Grief
Rev. Lora Brandis
The Kubler-Ross five stage model of grief is a place to start when grieving, but it isn't the only way to navigate grief. Grief isn't something we move through as if we have a map, it has its own shape and according to the poet Albert Huffstickler “that's what we're looking for: not the end of a thing but the shape of it.”
Sunday Services at Horizon UU
May 8, 2016
Rev. Lora Brandis
May 15, 2016
Rev. Helen Carroll
I Hope You Dance