Rev. Jessica Purple Rodela
Jessica Purple Rodela grew up in the Canal Zone, Panama, during the tumultuous sovereignty negotiations of the 1970's. Her family returned to Texas in 1979. Over the years, Jessica has lived in Virginia, Hawaii, and California. Before entering the ministry, she worked variously as a high school English teacher, a freelance writer, and a logistics analyst. She graduated in 2008 from Meadville Lombard Theological School, our Unitarian Universalist seminary in Chicago where she co-founded the anti-racism forum The Kaleidoscope Initiative, which was featured in the text The Arc of the Universe: The Unitarian Universalist Association’s Anti-Racism Work. Her Borden Award-winning sermon “Can't We All Get Along? Loving Your (Political) Opponent” appears in The Shared Pulpit: A Sermon Seminar for Lay People (Erika Hewitt), and “The Prayer of the War Atheist” was published in the retrospective Interfaith Grand River: Our Journey.
Since arriving in Canada to serve Grand River Unitarian Congregation in the fall of 2008, Rev. Jess has served on the Canadian Unitarian Council Board of Trustees, as President of the UU Ministers of Canada, as a voting member of Interfaith Grand River, and as a mentor to ministerial candidates and chaplaincy students.