I was asked for a few words about my memories of Steve Dick. Outside it is snowing, and everything is very white and still, and I am sitting at my computer trying to bring back the past, many decades ago, when Steve came into my life.
I was young then, so was Steve when we met. Steve had chosen the ministry. He was being mentored by George Marshall of CLF who encouraged Steve to build a UU community in Europe.
So, while pursuing his studies at Manchester College, he founded, along with Leon Spencer and Ron Diehl, the European Universalists of Europe. With their extraordinary talent and skill, the team built EUU into a home for UUs everywhere in Europe. For us, it was our family UU home. Because of EUU, Unitarianism Universalism came alive for us, became real, visible for our children. It had a real spiritual influence on the choices our children made and thus on their lives.
The EUU was a smaller community then. I remember it as especially friendly, welcoming, with the energy natural to new beginnings and hopes. Much of this friendly, confident climate was tuned by Steve who led us through our first decade. That decade shaped the EUU, its purposes, its way of supporting UU fellowships and isolated UUs. It provided a much-needed religion for us, and as already said, our spiritual home.
EUU was important to Steve as well. With us, he deepened his faith, developed his administrative skills, and learned to withstand and overcome the challenges inevitable in a multicultural, European-wide congregation. And because of all of this, I believe EUU served in fact as the launching pad for Steve’s subsequent career. He went on to become a much-appreciated parish minister in Croydon, England. He was called to work with the International Association of Religious Freedom, to lead the Unitarian and Free Church of Great Britain, and finally to lead the International Council of Unitarian Universalists which has become the light house for Unitarians and Universalists all over the world.
Albert Schweitzer, in one of his well-known sermons, told us to honor the flame that others light for us. Steve left us much too early; there are still difficult international challenges needing his competence and administrative genius. But strangely, I feel he is still present.