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23 Dedham Avenue
Needham, MA 02492

Naming and Claiming National Holidays for National Transformation



Sunday, July 4, 2021

10:30 am via You Tube Video Link

Visiting Minister: Rev Dr. Michelle Walsh


What does it mean to celebrate “Independence Day” given the stock stories of this country’s origins often taught in our public and private school systems? How does this country begin to reexamine the public shared meaning of its federal holidays as one tool for dismantling institutional racism and oppression and re-envisioning a deeply rooted national cultural transformation?

We are pleased to welcome back Rev. Dr. Michelle Walsh, who has served us before in several capacities.  She and her husband, Rev. Dr. Clyde Grubbs, served as our interim maternity leave ministers last year when Rev. Catie was out on leave.  In the past Rev. Walsh has been a guest preacher in our pulpit and has also served as our Pastoral Care minister last summer, a role she is repeating this year.

Rev. Walsh is a licensed independent clinical social worker and is trained in Internal Family Systems (IFS) practice as well as sand tray and is a committed Zen Buddhist practitioner in Thich Nhat Hanh’s tradition. She is committed particularly to social service providers, clergy and lay healers and activists seeking to sustain and ground themselves and develop vision and capacity for these troubling times. She is also a Unitarian Universalist minister with an extensive background in urban community ministry. For nearly two decades, she served as the director of an urban youth ministry program under the UU Urban Ministry, first in a lay capacity and then as ordained clergy.

Currently, Michelle sees herself as a spiritual coach, companion, ally, facilitator, and IFS practitioner for human service providers, clergy, doctoral students, and activists committed to transformational justice work, as well as for those who would like to increase their activism in deeply grounded ways. She also is a Lecturer at the Boston University School of Social Work and author of Violent Trauma, Culture, and Power: An Interdisciplinary Exploration in Lived Religion, as well as chapters in other works.