Welcome to our Provocateur Series, where we will infuse you with a little “Pow, Shazam, Wow” and get your light glowing stronger and brighter in companionship with others.
The provocateur idea was first conceived by my husband, The Rev. Scott Tayler. As an undergraduate, each year his school hired a scholar in residence that would would bring their own unique perspective to the college, live there for a year, and make the students more. Most of these experiences were incredibly transformative for all involved.
This year, we have invited six dynamic people to engage us in a provocative, relevant manner. Each provocateur will have one month to both uniquely connect us to the monthly worship theme and facilitate a project that deeply engages us with a particular area of expertise, genre, or social construct.
We challenge you to take this series to heart; to use it as an opportunity to listen, look and go deeper. To figure out what it is that truly breaks your heart and what you are being called to do. We’ve created a tool called the Provocateur Passport to help you navigate your journey. Pick up your passport at the Provocateur table in the lobby on Provocateur weekends, or email our Provocateur Liaison, Sara Turnbull, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
October-AWE: Rupert Dubler
As a Southern California native, Rupert finds upstate New York to be a refreshing place to live, and First Unitarian Church of Rochester is a big part of
this. His passions in life center around healing the disconnection plaguing modern society and exploring how we can live in deeper harmony with the natural world. With a background in education and community building, he is supporting the creation of an inclusive spiritual home for deaf people here, in the heart of the world’s largest deaf community, through his role as co-coordinator of the Deaf Inclusion Ministry at First Unitarian Church. Rupert lives in Brighton with his partner Brooke Dubler.
November-ROOTEDNESS: Emil Homerin
Th. Emil Homerin is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion & Classics at the University of Rochester, where he teaches courses on Islam, mysticism and Mt. Hope Cemetery. He has published six books and numerous articles, and he has won a number of translation and teaching awards. Along with his wife Nora Walter, Emil lived and worked in Egypt and Turkey for a number of years.
January-CHARACTER: Kevin Makino
Kevin is pursuing MD and PhD degrees at the University of Rochester, where his research examines the impacts of public health insurance coverage on the social and emotional health of low-income children and families. He is passionate about helping our children, especially the most vulnerable, to achieve their full potential – and he is thrilled to share that passion as one of this year’s Provocateurs. Kevin has been recognized both for his scholarship and for his commitment to the community, including for his role as a founder of URWell (www.urwell.org), an organization run by local medical students that provides free health care to uninsured adults.
February-EVOLUTION: KaeLyn Rich
KaeLyn is an activist, organizer, nonprofit leader, and sexuality educator who found Unitarianism completely by accident. She has worked at the New York Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/Syracuse Region, and as a rural domestic violence and rape crisis service provider. She “queer married” her partner of 9 years at First Unitarian Church of Rochester in 2011. They live in the Swillburg neighborhood of Rochester with their furkids: a xenophobic cat, 2 bossy guinea pigs, and 2 sassy rabbits.
March-VULNERABILITY: Betty Garcia Mathewson
Betty coordinates the New York State Migrant Education Diversity Project and is a Master Trainer. She works with school systems and non-profit agencies in rural communities. Betty has led a range of diversity workshops and provides leadership coaching in the areas of managing diversity, understanding differences and managing diversity skill development nationally and throughout NYS. Oppression theory and social identity development theories form the foundation of the diversity “lens” that is at the core of her approach. Betty’s primary area of expertise is systems change. In addition to her 15 years of experience in the field of diversity, Betty brings over ten years of experience as a non- profit administrator working within a community development model.
April-FREEDOM: Heather Layton & Brian Bailey
Heather Layton is a multi-media artist and senior lecturer of art at the University of Rochester. Brian Bailey is an associate professor of Adolescence Education at Nazareth College and the co-founder of the Rochester Teen Film Festival, the Rochester Teen Film Camp, and the Participatory Educational Research Collaborative (PERC). Layton and Bailey collaborate on interdisciplinary projects that combine art, education, politics, and community. Their work has been presented across the United States and in countries including India, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman.
Mark Hare, Provocateur-in-Residence (2012-13)
Mark recently retired (sort of) from the Democrat and Chronicle, where he worked as a columnist, editor, editorial writer, and reporter for nearly 28 years, writing about a wide range of topics including public education, local and national politics, family life, religion, hospice care and extraordinary acts of kindness.
He has a Bachelors degree in psychology and a Masters degree in Speech Communication. In his 20s he was a high school teacher and spent several years as a Roman Catholic seminarian studying for the priesthood.
He is married to Kim Hare, and they have two sons, Ryan, 26, and Sean, 19. They live in the city’s Maplewood neighborhood.
Mark is looking forward to his year in residence, hoping to share his thoughts on living well, learning to love our community, using our faith principles to shape our public lives and, just as important, listening to the wisdom of the congregation at Fiirst Unitarian. He hopes to challenge and to be challenged.
Mark remains an active Catholic and is a member of the Cathedral Community parish, located at Sacred Heart Cathedral in northwest Rochester. He chairs the parish’s Communications and Evangelization Committee, and is vice-chair of the board for Mary’s Place refugee outreach center, a ministry of the Cathedral Community.