Voices from #MLS2015: Radiating Love

Written by Elizabeth Nguyen // July 30th 2015 // Featured Young Adults, Featured Youth, Future of Faith, Mosaic, Stories and Voices // no comments

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Guest blogger Sunshine Alvarez attended the Unitarian Universalist Association Multicultural Leadership School this July. Sunshine belongs to the Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. -ed. On July 10th, I had the opportunity to attend a Multicultural Leadership School (MLS) in Boston, Massachusetts for the second time. This was hands down the best part of my summer. MLS is a program supported by the UUA, and at this school I spent five days with youth, such as myself, and young adults of color. There are a lot of challenges growing up as a Black young adult and just growing up being a young adult of color, period, so it felt great to connect with people who were…

Service and Community

Written by T. Resnikoff // July 28th 2015 // #LivingUU, Future of Faith // no comments

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KATHY by Kristen Psaki kristen.psaki@gmail.com @kristenpsaki   Kathy Glatz First Unitarian Society of Denver “After being raised Catholic and having 30 something years of agnosticism, I was in a life-threatening car accident. And, I pondered, ‘why did I live?’ In my pondering my dear friend Jan Owen said, ‘Well, come to church with me.’ She was with First Unitarian at the time and it, uh, just felt right.” And so, in 1999 Kathy went to church. On #LivingUU Kathy Glatz is covered in buttons. From “End Israeli Apartheid” to “Migration is Natural” to an image of the word “Racism” underneath a big red prohibition sign that carves through the letters. Service. Kathy is clear and…

Little Separation Between UU Principles and Life

Written by T. Resnikoff // July 24th 2015 // #LivingUU, Future of Faith // no comments

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BRIAN by Kristen Psaki kristen.psaki@gmail.com @kristenpsaki   Rev. Brian Ferguson Minister San Marcos UU Fellowship San Marcos, TX Rev. Brian Ferguson sauntered through GA wearing a pair of very cool shoes. Much to the chagrin of their daughter Isla, Brian and his partner Natalie actually picked up matching pairs of these hand-painted deluxe kicks at Austin’s annual “Armadillo Christmas Bazaar.” Reflecting on their bowling-shoe-like appearance Brian mused: “Why don’t people wear bowling shoes more often? They are just great shoes.” Agreed.   On #Living UU “As a UU minister there seems to be very little separation between my UU principles and my life. But every so often it does fall-out. I always like what Martin…

It’s Just Sort of Inclusion Right Away

Written by T. Resnikoff // July 22nd 2015 // #LivingUU, Future of Faith // one comment

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NANCY by Kristen Psaki kristen.psaki@gmail.com @kristenpsaki Nancy Stevens Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Oregon “I was invited to join the UU Fellowship in Frisco, CO in 1996 and my friend said, ‘This is a church for the non-religious’ and I said, ‘Oh that would be me!’ So I started that in ’96. And I’ve been part of three different fellowships since then.” Nancy Stevens’ heart grows bigger by the second as she shares how her UU communities have impacted her life. “A big thing for me – I get all teary here – um, that the LGBT community is welcome in this fellowship. It’s not very often that we’re accepted. It was so neat to…

Help UU Young Adults Find Each Other!

Written by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // July 16th 2015 // Featured Young Adults, Guides and Tools, young adults // no comments

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They Are Everywhere – You Just Need to Know Where to Look… “I’m moving to a new part of the country. How can I find other UU young adults?” “I just learned about Unitarian Universalism and want to check it out. Where can I find peers?” “I want to get more involved. When is the next gathering of UU young adults in my area?” Along with the time honored method of getting a visible flaming chalice tattoo or finding a local congregation, there are two old-but-improved tools from the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries that I hope you’ll use to solve these conundrums! First up: the HubMap. Simple concept. It’s an open source…

My Own Little Blue Boat

Written by T. Resnikoff // July 2nd 2015 // #LivingUU, Future of Faith // no comments

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BEAR by Beth Cortez-Neavel ecortez.neavel@gmail.com @ecortez_neavel Though below me, I feel no motion Standing on these mountains and plains Far away from the rolling ocean Still my dry land heart can say: Bear Amezcua-Waters is 32 years old. He lives in Austin, Texas with Gil, his husband. They both recently began attending the First UU Church of Austin. Bear shared his story with me and @KristenPsaki, on the first evening of General Assembly. For all three of us it was our first GA conference, and we were all happy to connect to friendly faces through Bear’s gracious telling. Bear grew up to a body-building mother, now passed, who taught him in the ways of the…

A Spiritual Awakening

Written by T. Resnikoff // June 27th 2015 // #LivingUU, Future of Faith // no comments

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WESLEY by Kristen Psaki kristen.psaki@gmail.com @kristenpsaki Wesley Botham Unitarian Church Lincoln, NE “Sometime in late high school and early college I was definitely sure I was no longer a Christian.” Wesley Botham grew up in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA Lutheran), which worked for him until it didn’t anymore. “I remember thinking: It would be nice if there were some place, this is a completely absurd thought, but it would be nice if there were some place where you could go and not be a Christian.” Wesley ended up dating someone who invited him to a UU church, but it didn’t stick just yet. A chapter or two down the road Wesley lived…

This is What I Was Freakin’ Looking For!

Written by T. Resnikoff // June 27th 2015 // #LivingUU, Future of Faith // no comments

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 EM by Kristen Psaki kristen.psaki@gmail.com @kristenpsaki Em du Mond Church of the Larger Fellowship “A more accurate question than why am I UU is why am I still UU?” Em du Mond grew up UU. She was dedicated into the church, did RE and OWL, the whole gamut. “Then when I got into high school there was nothing, like at all.” Since there was no RE program for high school aged youth Em became a childcare worker for the church in order to at least stay connected. “I was working for them not really getting spiritual nourishment but still going to my community church where everyone knew me.” Luckily Em learned about Youth Cons her…

Spirituality… In an Open-Minded Way

Written by T. Resnikoff // June 26th 2015 // #LivingUU, Future of Faith // no comments

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 DICK by Kristen Psaki kristen.psaki@gmail.com @kristenpsaki Dick Burkhart Church of the Larger Fellowship “When you’re drawn toward something you don’t always quite know what it is,” says longtime UU Dick Burkhart. Looking back, there’s been a pattern in the spaces and relationships that make him feel most alive. For Dick, #LivingUU means life-long interfaith and multi-cultural learning. He remembers feeling the tug when studying world religions in Middle School and learning about whole new ways of living, gathering and believing. “We don’t have to be embedded in one little aspect of it. I built on that through my life.” In Seattle, Washington Dick was part of a UU fellowship that dissolved recently and he partly…

Not a Unitarian Universalist by Choice

Written by T. Resnikoff // June 25th 2015 // #LivingUU, Collections, Future of Faith // no comments

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 BETH by Beth Cortez-Neavel ecortez.neavel@gmail.com @ecortez_neavel I did not become a UU by choice. But, after being reluctantly dragged into Religious Education classes most of my young Sunday mornings, I have grown up choosing to live it. I recently, within the past six months, returned from half a decade of spiritual hiatus. The part of me that I thought of as “religious” got somehow disconnected between those years. I had a complicated falling out with myself on the heels of a grad school transition, cyclical dives into depression and congregational drama at my home church. But here I am: healing, reconnecting, moving forward. And here I am, choosing to be Unitarian Universalist again.  If our…