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Why I Choose to Serve as a Leader

Posted by jnewhall // May 15th 2015 // Stories and Voices // no comments

An Exploration of Faith and Leadership

Leaders_of_FaithI chose to serve as a leader in Unitarian Universalism (UU) because of the community, and encouragement of spiritual seeking. I consistently find myself in communities filled with Unitarian Universalists. It is in these communities that I feel most welcome and connected. From a Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice (UUCSJ) civil rights pilgrimage to youth caucus staff and Summer Seminary, I always feel embraced within Unitarian Universalism.

Unitarian Universalism stands apart from many other religions as it encourages spiritual seeking and developing faith from many sources. This builds our community of seekers, each constantly revisiting, developing, and evolving our faith. Even though I do not identify as Christian, in going to a Catholic school, I have drawn a portion of my spirituality from the teachings in the Bible. These teachings, and many others, have helped me to reflect on my faith and how I am called to share it.

During this past February, I traveled with the campus ministry department of my school to Ecuador. On that immersion trip, we talked to people with Hanson’s disease, played soccer at an abused women’s shelter, learned about the struggles of living with absolutely no money, and were tackled by elementary school children during recess. What truly struck me was the presence of happiness. Not a single person frowned during the week.

In reflecting on my abilities, faith, and place in Unitarian Universalism, I strengthened my calling to ministry. By serving on the youth caucus staff as a worship coordinator I enhanced my knowledge of leadership and what it means to me. As a leader in Unitarian Universalism I hope to inspire others to develop their faith and live it to the fullest extent.

When I attended the Unitarian Universalist Association Summer Seminary program, I had the opportunity to meet other UUs from across the country.  We disturbed each other into thinking so as to learn and strengthen our own spirituality, which is what I believe leadership is all about. Leadership revolves around openness and growth. Unitarian Universalism is an evolving religion with new ideas and systems for reaching new generations.  It is through the open exploration of UU beliefs that our leadership stems.  Leadership is inherently entwined into the beliefs of Unitarian Universalism as we openly advocate, evolve and progress.


About the Author

John Newhall lives north of Boston. He loves animation, writing, music, and Unitarian Universalism.
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