Presence is a Gift

JeKaren Olaoya
UUA Board of Trustees, MDiv graduate of Starr King School of Ministry, Learning Fellow with the Church of the Larger Fellowship
Presents a virtual sermon for BBUUC:
Presence is a Gift
Claudia Marshall, Worship Leader
Dr. Gary Smart, Accompanist and Special Music

The gifts of Justice and Equity are often talked about in big ways, but what does it mean to make them part of your everyday life? Let’s explore how presence can be an accessible tool for justice and equity and why chaplaincy is needed outside of hospitals. 

About our Guest Speaker:

JeKaren Olaoya (she/her) serves our Unitarian Universalist faith as a UUA Board of Trustees member. She is a proud graduate of Starr King School for the Ministry and a candidate for UU Ministry. Her ministry exists at the powerful intersection of ancestry, healing, justice, liberation, and creative expression. She is the author of “All the Pieces Fit: A Book of Collage Poems,” the upcoming “Opening and Closings,” and the founder and owner of Art Spirit Heal, where she offers art-based spiritual guidance to individuals and groups. JeKaren is a Georgia native and lives with her sweet doggo Maysee Moon.

About our Member-Musician:

Dr. Gary Smart is a Presidential Professor of Music at the University of North Florida. His career has encompassed a wide range of activities as composer, classical and jazz pianist, and teacher. He composes and improvises music that reflects an abiding interest in Americana, jazz, world music, and Western classical tradition. He has performed in major venues in the United States, Europe, and Asia. His “Concordia” for orchestra won the Concordia Jazz Competition Award and premiered at Lincoln Center, New York. Dr. Smart has spent two residencies in Japan, teaching programs at Osaka University and Kobe College. He has also taught in Indonesia as a “Distinguished Lecturer” for the Fulbright program.