Reverend Jeff Jones
As an Atlanta native, I was ordained as a Unitarian Universalist minister in 1998 after graduating from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. After serving congregations part-time in Georgia and Alabama, I subsequently served as the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fredericksburg, Virginia, for nine years.
Called to serve the Emerson Unitarian Universalist Congregation by a vote of the congregation in May 2010, I moved to Marietta in June 2010 with my wife, Carol Buffum, an attorney, mediator, and ESOL teacher. Our son, Mykell Buffum, currently lives in Arizona and is studying to become a Paramedic.
My own journey with Unitarian Universalism speaks of my own strong appreciation of our faith tradition. In 1989, as a Software Engineer, I was looking for a religion that valued intellectual integrity. I discovered this and also found a faith tradition that touched the heart and encouraged me to deeper spiritual understanding. I have now been on a most wonderful spiritual journey for more than twenty years.
My personal interests include time with family and friends, playing volleyball and tennis, walking, being a vegan, and Spanish language, history, and culture.
In the course of my own personal and spiritual growth as a Unitarian Universalist, I have developed the commitments below. Admittedly, some are easier to follow than others and there are moments when I fall short. And yet, as African-American theologian Howard Thurman writes, “keep fresh before me the moments of my High Resolve, that in good times or in tempests, I may not forget that to which my life is committed.”
- Live these commitments responsibly, not rigidly.
- Speak with kindness especially in disagreement.
- Cultivate loving thoughts and deeds.
- Eat and drink in moderation.
- Have compassion for all sentient beings.
- Where possible, travel by foot, bicycle, or public transportation.
- Share in the earth’s abundance (have few possessions).
- Show genuine appreciation for the work (ministry) of others.
- Live in modest housing.
- Work with integrity in moderate amounts.
- Cherish time with family and friends.
- Laugh often.
- Seek passion for living.
- Embrace death as a natural part of life.
- Serve others and enjoy life.
- Celebrate healthy sexuality.
- Affirm the worth of self and others, independent of accomplishment.
- Seek wisdom not knowledge.
A Final Word: As Unitarian Universalists, we are not searching for the “right” answers to life’s questions but we are searching for deeper understanding in a spirit of mutual respect as we explore together (in community) the joys and challenges of life. At the same time, we strive to create a better world through service and advocacy.