Introducing the YA Caucus Staff
Sarah Napoline will serve as Community Chaplain, while Andrew Coate will serve as Worship Coordinator.
Today, we’ll meet Sarah Napoline, the community chaplain, who made the time to answer a few questions despite her busy schedule as an Intern Minister.
Ed.: What’s your background in Unitarian Universalism?
Sarah: I’ve been Unitarian Universalist my whole life! I was raised UU in the First Parish in Concord, Massachusetts, and I’m a signed member of that congregation. During high school and college I remained active as a lay leader and volunteer, and continued to participate after I moved to Boston. In September 2011, I began seminary at Andover Newton Theological School with the intention of earning a Masters of Divinity. In August 2012 I started a parish internship at the First Parish in Brookline, working as a part of the worship team and in support of the high school youth program; I will be working in Brookline through 2014. I saw the Regional Subcommittee on Candidacy in November and have been officially affirmed as a Candidate for Ministry with the UUA. I’m hoping to be ordained as a UU minister in the next couple years.
Ed.: What do you see your role as at Young Adult Caucus?
Sarah: I see myself as a behind-the-scenes support. As a chaplain to the YAC (Young Adult Caucus – Ed.), I will be available to everyone as a resource for advice, support, mediation, and guidance. General Assembly is a stressful and busy time, and it’s my job to make sure that we coast through with big smiles and happy hearts. Other people can make sure that we’re having fun or worshiping well or working toward social justice issues, but it’s my job to make sure that everyone can bring their whole selves to this community.
Ed.: Why would a young adult want to come to General Assembly?
Sarah: Millions of reasons. Kajillions of reasons! General Assembly is like being tele-ported to another world, where you finally are surrounded by goofy people just like you. Everyone you encounter is Unitarian Universalist, and experiencing a huge group of UUs is a great way to enliven, energize, and challenge your faith. Why are you UU? What does that mean to you? How do you live that in your everyday lives? These are awesome things you can explore at GA. There are groups and activities based on anything you could ask for– events for social justice work, plenary sessions to engage in shaping our religious movement, young adult events to be with people your own age, and inter-generational worship to see the past, present, and future of Unitarian Universalism.
Ed.: Why would a young adult who is going to General Assembly want to come to young adult caucus?
Sarah: Sometimes it’s just easier to be around people who understand you – people who understand the cultural context, the music, the technology, the language, the struggles and joys of a certain age. Getting to know other young adults who are Unitarian Universalist helps everyone develop their faith. Being with UUs is awesome, and being with UU young adults shows a whole new way of being a young adult, being a UU, and being in community.
Ed.: And for something fun – What’s something that interesting about you that most people don’t realize?
Sarah: Most people don’t realize that I’m bisexual. In 2010, I married my high school sweetheart, Wes, on our ten year anniversary. I realized I was bi sometime in college, and Wes was extraordinarily supportive, so we were able to continue dating. As a bisexual woman married to a heterosexual man, it is easy for me to “pass” or blend in, but I think it’s even more important for me to be a vocal, proud part of the LGBT community. But whatever, that’s old news.
More importantly: most people might not realize that I’m a Boston sports fan, and that disrespecting the Red Sox is a cardinal sin. “In Teddy Ballgame’s name we pray, amen!”