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A Spiritual Awakening

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



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 near a UU church and decided to bike to and from services on Sunday for the sole purpose of getting some exercise.

“I felt like it was a purely secular volunteer organization, a fraternal organization.”

From secular to spiritual Unitarian Universalism

But things have shifted for Wesley recently.

“Over this last year I’ve had sort of a spiritual awakening I guess.”

“I started noticing and seeing a lot of power in the spiritual and theological parts of it. Seeing my minister give pastoral care to people who are going through really hard times. The power to improve people’s lives in that way.”

Last fall Wesley opened up UUWorld.org to find an image and a story that cut through the noise of the day and amplified his growing connection to Unitarian Universalism,

“There was a picture of Reverend Susan Frederick-Gray in Phoenix and Sheriff Joe Arpaio is standing across from her. She is looking straight at him. It looks like he just can’t make eye contact with her. There is just so much power in the picture.”

“It just crystallized the ability of faith to transform people and transform the world.”

“I’m getting more comfortable with theological language and it’s an exciting time for me right now,” Wesley says, “This is not just a club, it’s not just a social club for me anymore. It’s a bigger thing.”


The authors of #Living UU are Beth Neavel-Cortez and Kristen Psaki. Beth is a free-lance journalist based in Austin, Texas. She is a life long Unitarian Universalist who knows that story-telling is what saves us. Kristen is a member of First Unitarian Society of Denver. She is pursuing ministerial ordination with Unitarian Universalist Association. Kristen loves chocolate and coffee, together or separately.

About the Author

Ted Resnikoff is the Digital Communications Editor at the Unitarian Universalist Association.
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