Rev Charles VanDenBroeder has been elected as President of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches for the year April 2017 to April 2018.
Charles discovered in Brazil in 1968 that I was a Unitarian but did not know it. He was then an active member of Stillwater Unitarian Universalist Church, Oklahoma and Arlington Va. Unitarian Universalist Church in the United States. Between 1985 and 1988 he was a member and officer of European Unitarian Universalists.
He undertook ministerial training at Manchester College Oxford from 1988 until 1990 with 3 short work experiences at Shrewsbury, Edinburgh and as assistant to the hospital chaplain at Zeist, The Netherlands. He was minister at Horsham followed by Norwich and Great Yarmouth and he helped found Inter-faith council in Norwich. He then was at Bradford Broadway, Bradford Russel Street and Shelf with his final ministry from 205 until 2015 at Monton Unitarian Church in Eccles. In retirement he continues to preach at various churches on average once a month and is also active in wider Unitarian activities.
Speaking at the Annual Meetings he said:
“Being a Unitarian and Free Christian is about much more than the opinions and beliefs you hold. It is about the way you live your life day by day. Our tradition affirms that with authentic religion it is deeds not creeds that count. Our faith asks, “If being a Unitarian and Free Christian were against the law, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”.
I am a broad-church Unitarian and see squabbles over theology or lack of thereof as distractions from the business at hand – which for me is to be a welcoming spiritual home for all, and to realise that all people are our sisters and brothers, and live our lives as such. This mans, among other things, to reach out to your local community.