Around the Island

Union Chapel welcomes Reverend Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO The interior of Shelter Island’s Union Chapel.
The interior of Shelter Island’s Union Chapel.

On Sunday July 15, the Reverend Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson will speak at Union Chapel in the Grove. The title of her sermon will be “Close Encounters on Holy Ground.”

The Reverend Henderson is president of Auburn Seminary, a multi-faith leadership development and research institute that equips bold and resilient leaders of faith and moral courage to build communities, bridge divides, pursue justice and heal the world. Auburn was founded almost 200 years ago by Presbyterians and has become an essential institution in advancing the multi-faith movements for justice.

Author of “God’s Troublemakers: How Women of Faith are Changing the World” (Continuum, 2006), Reverend Henderson is an internationally known speaker and has been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, MSNBC, NPR and more. Her TEDx talk, “Letting God Out of the Box,” was released in February 2017.

Reverend Henderson is currently writing her second book, “Fighting for the Heart of America: How the Prophets of our Time are Bringing Our Nation’s Future to Birth.”

Reverend Henderson has spearheaded innovative educational programs, ranging from convening CEOs on ethics in business practice to infusing mainstream media with compelling faith voices on issues such as a moral economy, sex trafficking, immigration, gun violence, LGBT equality, Islamophobia and anti-semitism.

She co-founded Face to Face | Faith to Faith — a multi-faith program educating a new generation of young leaders from the U.S. and conflict and post-conflict regions around the world as peacemakers for our global society.

Reverend Henderson was named co-recipient of the Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize for her lifelong passion to create spaces for authentic inter-faith engagement. She joined esteemed past winners including His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. Henderson was nominated and selected as an Arthur Vining Davis Foundation Fellow for the 2017 Aspen Ideas Festival for her outstanding and respected leadership in the multi-faith leadership development field.

She serves on the Advisory Board of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center and the Multifaith Leadership Advisory Board for New York University and she is a Board member of the Summit Preparatory School in Kalispell, Montana.

She earned her Masters of Divinity degree at Union Theological Seminary and her doctorate at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). Reverend Henderson was raised in Louisville, Kentucky during the civil rights movement. As a child, she accompanied her parents on civil rights marches and prayed and sang with people of many faith traditions who came together out of moral conviction — all united for justice. This early experience shaped Reverend Henderson’s enduring commitment to equip and support leaders in building a more peaceful and just world. Music at the service will be performed by Chapel organist Linda Betjeman, along with a guest musician, baritone Thom Milton. A local resident, he has served as a cantor at Our Lady of the Isle and has been a featured soloist at both Union Chapel and the Shelter Island Presbyterian Church. Mr. Milton has performed throughout the East End. He has sung with Shelter Island Community Chorus and Perlman Music Program, the Choral Society of the Hamptons on the South Fork and the Peconic Bay Masterworks Choir on the North Fork.