Rev. Tony Introduces Himself

My name is Anthony Johnson, but I go by Tony. I am a Unitarian Universalist Minister scheduled for to serve from August through June at the Unitarian Church in Ithaca. I am well established in the work, having been a minister for 42 years.

I love our UU faith and I love the work of ministry. I found this faith during the 1960s when, while as an undergraduate t at Boston University, I became immersed in work in peace and racial justice work. UU churches were among the places and communities where much of this work was centered in Boston. Once involved at the Arlington Street Church, I came to appreciate the communal and pastoral aspects of congregational life. I went back to school and earned the M.Div. degree at Harvard and soon after graduating left for my first congregation in downtown Burbank, California. I went on to other parish and community ministries in several states and at the national level. In recent years I have focused on congregations in transition. My experience as a minister, nonprofit executive, and community organizer are essential to congregational ministry as I understand it—and especially to transitional ministry.

Although not teaching now, I have taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels (sociology, nonprofit management, and the practice of ministry.)

I am married and I have an adult daughter, who has a graduate degree in urban planning and does important work where she lives.

My wife, Jody Leight, will stay in our house in New Jersey and continue to practice law in New York City. She will visit a couple of times during the year and I will visit and work from home when possible and appropriate.

I love music, art, poetry, and hiking in the woods. I think that this will be a great year for me, personally, to be in Ithaca. And I am confident that the work we do together will benefit the church and the city of Ithaca.