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All Souls Unitarian Church, Tulsa, OK


Jun 15, 2014

The sermon was delivered on Sunday, June 15, 2014, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Rev. Tamara Lebak, Associate Minister.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

For our summer sermon series, 'Heroes, Heroines, and Heretics,' I will look at the life of Jane Addams, co-founder of one of the first settlements in the United States, the Hull House in Chicago, Illinois. One of my favorite papers written in seminary was on Jane Addams. Many of her letters are archived at the University of Chicago, and I spent hours pouring over them, trying to decide if we could count her as a Unitarian and as a member of the LGBT community. Jane was ahead of her time. She was named a co-winner of the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize. She is considered the mother of the Social Work movement, and is a key leader of women’s suffrage. Jane led a multicultural community at Hull House, crossing boundaries where others dared not tread, working with immigrants, the uneducated, the sick, and the poor. She lived out her faith in the world through action. Jane Addams was also gay. In my studies I have had professors argue with me that this was not a term she would claim. It was, in fact, a different time. But, I have read the love letters between Mary Rozet Smith and Jane, and they are enough to make you blush. These are not the words of roommates or friends. Join me as I explore the life of a heroine and a heretic, Jane Addams.

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