I was born in Chicago, Illinois, the second child of two teenage parents. I was the first and last in my family to attend college, so when I became an elementary school teacher, it was a big deal. When I became a minister, it was almost unbelievable.
Growing up, we lived in a diverse neighborhood and attended a small, socially active Methodist church where I learned that political activism - to do good work in the world - was a form of ministry. In my mid-twenties, I married Dave, who was raised in an atheist Jewish home. When our four children were young, we discovered Unitarian Universalism as a good place to raise them with the values we shared.
Before I entered seminary, I had worked as a teacher, an editor, and a counselor in Chicago. After graduating in 1990, I served a Unitarian Universalist congregation in Knoxville, Tennessee. Ministry in the Bible Belt was a strong reminder of how important it is to keep our liberal religious movement vital! In 2000, I was called to the ministerial team at River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Bethesda, Maryland, where I helped facilitate the social justice and pastoral care programs. And in 2005, I began my ministry at UUCR.
This congregation is at a moment of great potential! Our vision is to grow our commitment to hospitality and social justice, to strengthen our music and worship and religious education programs, and to bring the liberal religious message to our community. Our strength is our diversity of belief and our celebration of differences. Together, we are on a journey of meaning, love, and justice.
I love to think and read, particularly good literature, literary criticism, science and theology, and The New Yorker. I love to write poetry and meditations. Ideas excite me, and I am always wondering "Why?" I enjoy popular culture and find it a good source of sermon material. I play tennis, dance, enjoy almost every movie, and walk daily for exercise, pleasure, and spiritual awakening.
Reverend Rebekah Montgomery
I grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, where my family attended the River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation. I attended Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, studying non-Western theology as a Religious Studies major and minoring in Sociology and Women’s Studies. Though unsure of my intent upon enrollment, I attended Union Theological Seminary in New York City and, in my second year there, felt called to the ministry. I graduated with a Masters in Divinity and Pastoral Theology. I completed Clinical Pastoral Education at a large hospital in Miami, Florida and my internship at the Boca Raton Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Boca Raton, Florida.
After the events of September 11, 2001, I felt drawn to military chaplaincy. I was ordained a Unitarian Universalist minister in June 2003 and commissioned as an army chaplain in September 2003. Since becoming an army chaplain, I've spent the majority of my career on active duty and completed one overseas tour in Afghanistan. In 2007, I completed a Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling and became a Licensed Professional Counselor in 2014. Currently, I am working on a Doctorate of Ministry in Military Chaplaincy at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.
After years of serving as a staff officer with the military and visiting local UU congregations for worship on Sundays, my sense of calling and prophetic witness from the pulpit expanded and became reinforced with many connections with colleagues and congregations in the area. With my experience, training, and education, I felt drawn to serving a UU congregation and I was very happy to join the staff at UUCR as part-time Assistant Minister in October 2015. Together as a congregation, we join our voices and spirits in a shared journey of meaning, love, and justice.