• Jerald Stinson
    • Rev. Jerald Stinson

      A magna cum laude graduate of both Occidental College and the Divinity School at Harvard University, Rev. Jerry Stinson has been a minister in the United Church of Christ for over forty-one years. He recently retired after serving for twelve years as the Senior Minister at the First Congregational Church of Long Beach. He previously served congregations in Carlsbad, California and Almira, Washington as well as serving for four years with the United Church Board of World Ministries in southern Africa.

      In retirement, Rev. Stinson works with several groups seeking social justice and progressive theology.
      He is Vice President of Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace and co-chairs its working group in opposition to American uses of torture.
      He is on the Board of Directors of the Southern California American Civil Liberties Union.
      He is the President of the Board of the Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition.
      He is on the South Bay Committee of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice and is a recipient of that organization’s 2013 Giants of Justice award.
      He is one of the founding members and on the Executive Committee of the Christian Muslim Consultative Group of Southern California.
      He is on the Board of Directors of ProgressiveChristianity.org.

      As an advocate for religious pluralism, Rev. Stinson was a founding member of the Long Beach Jewish-Christian-Muslim Leadership Forum. He previously served on the Board of Directors of the South Coast Interfaith Council and was president of the Long Beach Religious Leaders Association. He received the Interfaith Unity Award from the South Coast Interfaith Council, the Interfaith Courage Award from the California Council of American Islamic Relations, the Muslim Peace Award from the Southern California Islamic Center, and leadership awards from Masjid Al-Shareef and the Long Beach Islamic Center.

      He served previously on the Board of Directors of Progressive Christians Uniting and was on the National Advisory Board of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. He also served on the Steering Committee of the Long Beach Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness.

      Rev. Stinson has been part of three peace and justice delegations to Palestine and Israel, and was part of a church delegation to Mexico studying the economic impact of NAFTA and American immigration policies.

      For his denomination nationally, Rev. Stinson served as a member of the directorate of the Office for Church In Society and as Chair of the Board of Directors of the United Church Board for World Ministries. He was a featured preacher at the UCC General Synod in 1999.

      Rev. Stinson received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Long Beach NAACP and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award given jointly by the City of Oceanside, CA and the Oceanside branch of the NAACP in recognition of his involvement in the struggle for civil rights. He was also the first United Church of Christ minister to receive the Disciple of the Year Award given by the Pacific Southwest Region of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ in recognition of his commitment to social justice, peace and freedom for all.

      Rev. Stinson is married to Kay Gault who is a teacher at Lafayette Elementary School in Long Beach. They have three children and five grandchildren.

Climate Change, A Vocabulary of Reverence and the Strength of Fragility

For those like me who see Jesus, not as the divine Son of God in our midst, but as a courageous sage and social prophet, and for those of us who see God as other than an all-powerful distant deity – the language of reverence is rooted in the story of existence and the universe itself. That becomes a religious story whispering of a larger meaning of our existence or in Bumbaugh’s words each of us is “a self present in the singularity that produced the emergent universe; a self present at the birth of the stars; a self related through time to every living thing on this planet; a self that contains within it the seeds of a future we cannot imagine in our wildest flights of fantasy.” That non-traditional evolutionary sacred story invites us to stand in awe; and it calls us to create a whole new vocabulary of reverence even as we commit to cherishing and caring for the earth.

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The Evolving Faith of a Liberal Christian Minister (8): What I Believe about Prayer

This current series of sermons offers me the opportunity to examine and reflect upon my own faith – and I share those reflections with you, not to tell you what you should believe, but to challenge you to examine your own religious convictions.

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