It’s Just Sort of Inclusion Right Away

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

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!

Posted by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // July 16th 2015 // Featured Young Adults, Guides and Tools, young adults // 3 comments

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

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

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

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

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!

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

 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

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

 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

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

 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…

Deeply Religious But Not Church-y

Posted by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // June 12th 2015 // Future of Faith, Guides and Tools // one comment

Here is Where to Go How can one initiative simultaneously support people who want a deeply religious experience and also support folks who want nothing to do with organized religion? Oddly enough, I believe that staff at the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) are doing just that. The framework of the UUA’s new emerging ministries initiative is simultaneously more religious and less church-y than previous incarnations of support for emerging congregations. With a stronger focus on covenant, mission and spiritual connection and less emphasis on polity and by-laws, we are encouraging new groups to really get religion before getting caught up in structure. Yet, as we broaden the lanes of our path to include non-congregational forms of ministry…

Emerging Faith: Beyond the Fads

Posted by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // May 22nd 2015 // Future of Faith, Guides and Tools // 3 comments

Covenants Aren’t “Cool,” and Fitness Won’t Fix the World In April I got to go home for work. I don’t mean home to the house I share with my partner and housemates here in Boston. I mean back to the part of the country I say I’m from, back to the people who raised me and made me Unitarian Universalist (UU).  I went back to my childhood state, Illinois, to attend the MidAmerica Regional Assembly. Like many young adults, I’ve moved a lot. Since I first left home at age 17 I’ve lived in 5 different states and both coasts of the U.S. I’ve also been a part of 6 different UU communities. It felt so comforting to…

Grab the Tsubaki Scholarship 2015 Now!

Posted by T. Resnikoff // May 5th 2015 // Events and Opportunities // no comments

A Rare Opportunity for a Unique Theological Experience Unitarian Universalist (UU) seminarians attending non-UU theological schools who have an interest in international or interfaith engagement are invited to apply by May 15, 2015 for an incredible opportunity to spend 2-3 weeks at Tsubaki Grand Shrine (TGS), one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan. Each year one recipient receives a scholarship covering travel, room and boarding expenses for a summer/fall stay at the shrine. The long-standing relationship between Unitarian Universalism and TGS has its roots within the International Association for Religious Freedom. Add you name to those of Ranwa Hammamy: 2014 Recipient, Sarah E. Gillespie: 2013 Recipient, Elizabeth Nguyen: 2012 Recipient, Christian Schmidt: 2011 Recipient –Unitarian…