A woman pastor from Connecticut has been...

A woman pastor from Connecticut has been nominated to head the 120- church Southern California region for the United Church of Christ.

The Rev. Davida Foy Crabtree, senior minister at Colchester Federated Church, is expected to be formally approved March 9 at a ministerial meeting at Pasadena First Congregational Church. She will preach prior to the formal meeting.

She was selected for the “conference minister” post following a long search to find a successor to the Rev. Fred Register, a fixture on the mainline Protestant scene for 22 years in that position. The Rev. Teruo Kawata has served as the interim executive.

Crabtree currently chairs the Board of Trustees at Hartford Seminary and is president of a nonprofit, affordable-housing corporation in Colchester that she began in 1988. Pastor of the Colchester congregation since 1980, she has also been active in ecumenical circles, including 12 years on the governing board of the National Council of Churches.


In a brochure prepared for her candidacy, Crabtree, who is married, was described as a “seasoned veteran” who is “keenly sensitive to justice issues, including feminist perspectives” and as an award-winning preacher who was able to boost her church’s attendance by 70% during her tenure.

If elected, she will assume her duties about June 1 at the regional body’s Pasadena office.


The Rev. Thomas Gillespie, president of Princeton Theological Seminary, will join the second of three weekly forums on the Persian Gulf War at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at Bel-Air Presbyterian Church. Gillespie, a onetime Garden Grove pastor, will also preach at the 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. worship services. The forums are examining psychological and political implications of the war as well as the “prophetic” meaning of the conflict from an evangelical Christian reading of the Bible, a spokesman said. The 1,400-family church, which counts former President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan among its congregants, is also distributing yellow ribbons as a symbol of prayer for support of the troops.


An interfaith service for peace Monday at the Fo-Kuang Shan Hsi-Lai Buddhist Temple in Hacienda Heights will attract representatives from Catholic, Protestant, Islamic, Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu communities, a representative said. The prayer and meditation service, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., will include words from Father Bill Lessar of St. Martha’s Catholic Church, La Puente; United Methodist District Supt. Robert Davis and Ahmad Sakr of the Islamic Center of San Gabriel Valley.


Actress Rebecca Street, who portrayed a woman afflicted with the AIDS virus on the TV daytime drama “The Young and the Restless” over a two-year period, will lead discussions at an eight-week workshop on spirituality and the fatal disease at Trinity Episcopal Church in East Hollywood, starting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Rev. Mac Thigpen, the rector, said the course is designed specifically for people with AIDS who are experiencing a crisis of faith. The parish has conducted services of healing and remembrance on the first Wednesday night of each month for about five years, Thigpen said. That kind of service will immediately precede the start of each workshop session, he said.