Born and raised in New York’s Capital Region, Kimberley Debus has also called North Carolina home, where she completed her BA in American Political Studies and Theater at Meredith College. She completed her Master of Divinity at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York in May 2014. She comes to First Universalist from Key West, where she served as the intern minister at One Island Family, the Southernmost UU Congregation. She also serves the Church of the Larger Fellowship as the Minister of Aesthetics.
Kimberley was raised by Unitarian parents but sowed her spiritual oats for many years before returning to Unitarian Universalism in the 1990s during her years as an activist in North Carolina’s LGBT community. She has been a member of the UU Congregation of Saratoga Springs since 2004, where she served multiple lay leadership roles, including secretary of the congregation, stewardship chair, and worship committee chair. She has also served as the worship coordinator for the Capital Region UUs of New York (CRUUNY) cluster-wide worship services, which have drawn such speakers as Thandeka, Scott Alexander, and Peter Morales. She has presented workshops on generational theory at district and regional leadership conferences, as well as General Assemblies.
However, it is in the arts that her passion lies, and she has worked extensively as a singer, actor, and director in both New York and North Carolina. While at Union, she worked to create an annual Broadway revue that explores Biblical texts through the lens of musical theater. Her thesis project further explored the intersection of art and worship, exploring the stories of unnamed women in the Old Testament as a way to understand the deleterious effects of othering and disenfranchisement. Future projects will continue to meld worship, art, and feminism into performative worship pieces for religious communities.
At its heart, Kimberley’s ministry is to cultivate the space where beauty and truth flourish – leading minds to possibility, guiding souls to creation, calling hearts to mission, and compelling the wild expression of the Infinite All.
Before accepting the call to ministry, Kimberley as a budget analyst, a technical writer, an English teacher, an arts center manager, and most recently as the owner of a small editing and publishing business, with eight titles published under her imprint.
Bio and pic here