First Lesbian UU Minister in the Philippines

DSC_0309-680x1024On April 25, 2013, the UU Church of the Philippines ordained Ma. Theresa Gustilo Gallardo, Jr in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Philippines. Nicknamed “Tet,” Rev. Gallardo is the first lesbian UU Minister in the Philippines.

Prior to her ordination, Rev. Gallardo performed “commitment” ceremonies in Metro Manila.

Rev. Roger Bertchausen, Senior Minister of Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, delivered the Ordination Sermon at the ceremony. Rev. Don Southworth, Executive Director of the UU Ministers Association, and Rev. Ron Robinson, Executive Director of the UU Christian Fellowship, joined Filippino UU Ministers in laying their hands, in prayer, over Rev. Gallardo.

Rev. Hospicio Condez, Sr. a 90-year old pioneer Universalist Minister placed the minister’s stole upon Rev. Gallardo’s shoulders, symbolic of her transition into leadership; children from the congregation handed books to her as a symbolic gesture of wisdom. Rev. Condez, Sr. also gave a special blessing to Rev. Gallardo.

In October 20, 2013, Rev. Gallardo was installed as Minister of the UU Church in Bicutan, Metro Manila.

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