J. R. 'Regina' Hyland - Sarasota, Florida USA (1933 - 2007)
J. R, Hyland was the founder of Humans Religion.
Our mission statement follows: "HUMANE RELIGION is committed to developing materials that will nurture and support those who have been called to be part of the spiritual evolution that is manifesting itself among those who understand that love and compassion must be the hallmark of our relationship with all God's creatures."
We offer our services to people of any faith and to people of no faith. We work with individuals as well as with groups, to help develop strategies and materials to reach Sunday School classes, small group meetings, seminars and whatever other venues people want to develop. Our materials are based on the bible which teaches that animals were specifically created to be the companions of humans, that humans were created to be vegetarians and that animals, as well as humans, have a soul that lives on after death. There is no charge for any of these services.
We also provide a variety of booklets on various topics including hunting, fur-wearing and vegetarianism. Through these booklets, which are distributed at tabling events in many different venues, we have reached many thousands of people. Because our financial resources are so limited, this outreach has been made possible because of the help of various groups and individuals who have reprinted and distributed these booklets at their own expense.
We also keep reprints of the HUMANE RELIGION Journal in stock. We receive many requests for the complete set and many of the articles that were published in the journal are also available at our website: www.HumaneReligion.org or Humane Religion
J. Regina Hyland went to be with the Lord on 9 October 2007. We miss her very much.
Shortly before her death, she wrote:
“It is important to understand that those who are aware of the cruelty involved in the treatment of other species are morally bound to take some kind of action to end it. Kindness to those animals who come across our path is not enough. The needs of those who are hidden from our sight, enduring the atrocities inflicted on them…are just as important as the needs of the companion animals with whom we share our homes. What we are able to do is not as important as our willingness to take whatever action our lifestyle allows.”
Kris Haley wrote:
It is with great sadness that I share the news that Rev. J.R. (Regina) Hyland has passed away. Regina was one of our planning retreat remote participants who had planned to join us in Kanab but, due to poor health, was forced to participate remotely. Shortly after the planning retreat her condition worsened and today, I received the news of her passing.
Regina was a true pioneer in the field of Animals & Religion. The magnitude of her impact would be difficult to define and is only surpassed by the magnitude of her loss. While I know that many of you are intimately familiar with the many dimensions of her work and all of you are acquainted with her bio, allow me to share it again, in her honor. Please note, however, that what you see below is but a tiny droplet of the ocean of work contributed by the devoted spirit that is Regina, on behalf of her beloved animals:
- Ordained Evangelical Minister, speaker, writer; completed undergraduate and graduate work in religious studies
- 22 years of ministerial experience; graduate Assemblies of God Seminary; ordained by International Ministerial Fellowship
- Engaged in Para-church ministries through the years.(Para-church indicates something other than pastoral ministry in a church setting)
- Active in migrant worker and prison ministry
- Founder and Director of Humane Religion
- Pioneer in scriptural research illustrating that, from Genesis to Revelation, the Bible witnesses to a story of the human failure to fulfill the role that God assigned--the role of compassionate caregiver for other species. This research, at the time ecumenically rejected, inspired the writing of "The Slaughter Of Terrified Beasts: A Biblical Basis for the Humane Treatment of Animals," published in 1988 and revised/reissued in 2000 by Lantern books, NY, under the title "God's Covenant With Animals.”
- All ministry work speaks to the goal of providing a biblical basis that will help to bring about changes in traditional Christian attitudes towards animals, which traditionally has found enormous resistance on the part of priests, ministers and various church groups to the biblical teaching that both humans and animals are "nefesh chaya": beings who live because of the soul infused by their Creator
- In 1995 the Humane Religion monthly journal was born and, at its peak, had over 3,500 paid subscribers. Hundreds of copies of each issue were sent to churches and other ministries, in an effort to raise consciousness within the Christian community. In 1998 printing and postage costs became prohibitive so publication was suspended. The work continues with the online Humane Religion website (www.HumaneReligion.org) where many of the previous articles can be found. This online ministry has attracted over 5 million visitors in 2007, to date.
- Humane Religion outreach efforts include, planning of animal blessings and services, animal centric seminar development, group study materials, Sunday School studies on various topics relating to animals and distribution of a variety of animal-centric educational materials via church (and other) tabling opportunities
- Assisted Matthew Scully with portions of the manuscript for the book “Dominion: The Power of Men, The Suffering of Animals and the Call To Mercy, 2003: St. Martin’s Griffen”
- Affiliations include: International Ministerial Fellowship (IMF} National Farm Workers Ministry (NFWM) Pax Christi (international peace organization) Sarasota In Defense of Animals (SDA)
Finally, Regina’s bio vision statement summarizes beautifully the work she began so very many years ago... the work that we continue today. We know peace for Regina and solace for her family as her legacy lives on within every fiber of our work. May the wisdom and integrity of her foresight continue to inspire us.