Tuesday, June 19, 2018
News Roundup

Rev. Abhi Janamanchi leaving Unitarian Universalists church in Clearwater

When the Rev. Abhi Janamanchi accepted the call to be the senior minister of Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda. Md., he became only the fifth senior minister in Cedar Lane's 62-year history.

His departure brings to a close 14 years of service as senior minister at the Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater, where he developed a multicultural interfaith program that spanned the Tampa Bay area. He was the featured speaker at national and international religious conferences and coordinated interfaith community action on a variety of social justice issues.

Born in 1969 and raised in an industrial city in southern India, he was especially close to his maternal grandfather, who was an active member of the Brahmo Samaj, a liberal Hindu reform movement with ties to Unitarian Universalism. Janamanchi was inspired at an early age by his grandfather's lifelong commitment to liberal religious values and social justice.

While attending Andhra University in India, Janamanchi earned a bachelor's degree in physics and pursued graduate work in quantum mechanics. He also met his wife-to-be, Lalitha, and the couple married in 1990. A year later, he put his studies on hold for a career in banking.

Janamanchi and his wife shared an interest in the Brahmo Samaj, and he was ordained as a lay minister.

While attending a religious conference in Bangalore, he met the dean of Chicago's Meadville Lombard Theological School, who encouraged him to apply. He was accepted, moved to the United States and graduated in 1998 with a master's degree in divinity. While in seminary, he and his wife helped develop an outreach ministry to the Indo-American community in Chicago called the Bharat Samaj.

Early in his career he served several years as intern minister at the Unitarian Church of Evanston and the UU Community Church in Park Forest, both in Illinois. He then accepted a position as interim associate minister at the First Unitarian Society in Madison, Wis.

Since becoming the UU of Clearwater's senior minister in 1999, membership, church attendance and enrollment in religious education have doubled.

In an email to congregants, Janamanchi said the move "means the chance to be a part of a large, programmatic, multistaffed congregation. It means new opportunities, new challenges, in a new setting. And it means being 20 minutes from our nation's Capitol."

In a bittersweet closing, he added, "But it also means saying goodbye to dear friends and colleagues like you. It means coming to terms with the joys and the struggles of what we've shared, cherishing what we learned and giving my best to what's next."

Janamanchi and his wife have two sons, Abhimanyu and Yashasvi.

His last day in the UU of Clearwater pulpit is Sunday. His ministry in Bethesda will begin in August.

• • •

After serving 21 months as priest-in-charge of All Saints' Episcopal Church in Tarpon Springs, one of the oldest churches in the Diocese of Southwest Florida and the Tampa Bay region, the Rev. Wayne F. Farrell has been elected as its parish rector.

Bishop Dabney T. Smith approved the call, and Farrell will be formally installed as only the fourth rector of the parish, which still occupies its original Florida carpenter Gothic church building.

"Our parish is grateful to Bishop Smith and his staff for their support during our transition," said Farrell. "Most importantly, this congregation is thankful at being strengthened by the Holy Spirit over the past 21 months. We look forward to the new places God is leading us in mission and ministry."

Farrell, a 1980 graduate of the University of Florida, worked 27 years as a small businessman in the field of real estate development and home building before he was called to the ordained ministry. In 2011, he graduated with a master's degree in divinity from the School of Theology of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn.

He and his wife, Trish, have been married 29 years and have two adult children.

• • •

Now that summer's here, Festival Ruah celebrates the season with an interfaith program of multicultural music, dance, poetry and readings at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater, 2430 Nursery Road.

Performers include Gumbi Ortiz and New Groove City with Latin percussion and music; didgeridoo and percussion with Baba Abasi Ote; classical Indian dancers Jayash and Manash Ramanathan; Kuumba dancers and drummers; jazz musician Fred Johnson; and others.

Well-wishers will also have an opportunity to say goodbye to the Rev. Abhi Janamanchi, who has accepted a position at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda, Md.

Free and open to the public; offerings will be accepted. Refreshments will be served and childcare will be provided.

Call (727) 531-7704 or email [email protected]

• • •

Singer, songwriter and poet Tom Kimmel will be the guest musician at the 10:30 a.m. service Sunday at Unity Church of Clearwater, 2465 Nursery Road. Later, at 1 p.m., he will lead a song-writing workshop at Peace Cottage.

Kimmel, who will perform in concert at 7 p.m. Monday at Peace Chapel, has released seven solo albums, published a book of poems and led song-writing workshops in this country and abroad. His compositions have been recorded by major artists and featured in films and television shows.

Offerings of $15 per person or $25 per couple will be accepted at both events.

Call (727) 531-0992. Visit housebuiltonlove.com.

Mail religion news to Nova Beall at 1130 Cleveland St., Suite 100 A, Clearwater, FL 33756; fax to (727) 445-4119; or email [email protected]

   
Comments
Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another facility intended for detaining undocumented children is reportedly in the works for Houston as the number of children separated from their parents at the border continues to swell.Southwest Key Programs, the same contractor that operates the...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

ST. PETERSBURG — They appear to rise out of nowhere — two enormous, reclaimed-water tanks with an artist’s white clouds scudding across a blue background.A closer view reveals silhouettes of a lone coyote howling at the sky, mangrove islands, oak, cy...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Forecast: High humidity, searing temperatures and little rain across Tampa Bay

Forecast: High humidity, searing temperatures and little rain across Tampa Bay

Dry air will keep rain chances down Tuesday, which could be a good or bad thing depending on your afternoon plans.While showers will be at a minimum, the searing heat won’t be as high humidity and mostly sunny skies will push the heat index at ar nea...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

At this moment, she is Tampa Bay’s most influential export. A smart, accomplished and powerful attorney making life-altering decisions on an international stage.But what of tomorrow? And the day after?When the story of President Donald Trump’s border...
Updated: 2 hours ago
‘Papa! Papa!’ Audio of children stokes rage over separation

‘Papa! Papa!’ Audio of children stokes rage over separation

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — An audio recording that appears to capture the heartbreaking voices of small Spanish-speaking children crying out for their parents at a U.S. immigration facility took center stage Monday in the growing uproar over the Trump admi...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The Daystarter: South Florida rapper gunned down; latest on the immigration controversy; the album we’ve all been waiting for

The Daystarter: South Florida rapper gunned down; latest on the immigration controversy; the album we’ve all been waiting for

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• It’s here: summer. Highs this week will all be in the 90s, with feels-like temperatures near 100 degrees, according to 10Weather WTSP.• As you head out for your morning commute, check...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Up to 1,000 children held by immigration authorities now living in Homestead compound

Up to 1,000 children held by immigration authorities now living in Homestead compound

The Trump administration has reopened a 1,000-bed Homestead facility that once housed minors who entered the country illegally and alone, reviving a compound at a time when the White House is under fire for a new policy that separates children from p...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Argument over dog leads to fatal shooting in Polk County

Argument over dog leads to fatal shooting in Polk County

A Fort Meade man was killed Monday night and two others were wounded after Polk County deputies say they approached a man while searching for a lost dog.The shooting occurred around 6:45 p.m. at the home of suspected shooter Charles Peddycoart, at 41...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Review: On ‘Everything Is Love,’ Beyonce and Jay-Z emerge from chaos defiant, triumphant

Review: On ‘Everything Is Love,’ Beyonce and Jay-Z emerge from chaos defiant, triumphant

In 2016 Beyoncé dropped Lemonade, a culture-quaking song cycle about her troubled marriage to Jay-Z, and more broadly about the black female experience in America. It was her best and most meaningful work, and it was nominated for Album of the Year a...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays DFA Rob Refsnyder to make room for Kevin Kiermaier

Rays DFA Rob Refsnyder to make room for Kevin Kiermaier

The Rays made official after Monday's game that CF Kevin Kiermaier would be activated on Tuesday.And to make room on the 40- and 25 man rosters, they designated for assignment OF Rob Refsnyder.Acquired from the Indians for cash considerations just be...
Updated: 7 hours ago