By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – First Unitarian Church of Oklahoma City will begin offering English classes on September 11, each week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The classes are free and open to the public.
Each session will be taught by members of the First Unitarian Church who are experienced English as a second language teachers.
The classes will take place September 11 through December 6 in the church’s Eddy Room, 600 NW 13th Street, from 6:30 – 8 p.m.
“As Unitarian Universalists, we affirm the inherent worth and dignity of all persons, regardless of their immigration status or what language they speak,” said Rev. Diana Davies of the First Unitarian Church of OKC. “We also believe in justice, equity and compassion in human relations. In this country, it is difficult to participate in the public sphere without competency in English.
“For this reason, we see the offering of ESL classes as both an act of compassion and an act of social justice, in keeping with our principles and values,” Davies added.
After a yearlong search following the departure of interim minister Greg Stewart, Rev. Davies was ratified by a special congregational meeting in May. She officially began on August 1.
Davies received her Master of Divinity degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School in 2017. She completed a two-year internship at First Unitarian Church of Baltimore and was ordained jointly by First Unitarian in Baltimore and the UU Congregation of Princeton (New Jersey).
Rev. Diana holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Rochester with concentrations in Russian and Spanish. She has served as Director of International Programs at the University of Iowa and as Vice Provost for International Initiatives at Princeton University. A registered yoga teacher with training in trauma-informed yoga, Davies taught incarcerated men and women at the Prison Yoga Project in Maryland.
Many people have difficulty every day communicating with others and members of the First Unitarian Church of OKC want to help.
“If you are one of those people or you have a friend or relative who struggles because of lack of English skills, enroll now in English as a second language classes offered this fall at the First Unitarian Church of Oklahoma City,” said Teresa Rendon, member of First Unitarian’s Social Justice Committee. “We look forward to seeing you there.”
The First Unitarian Church of Oklahoma City welcomes everyone without regard to sexual orientation, gender identity, race, age, disabilities, or religious background.