Playing hide-and-go seek in the church basement. Exploring the creek bed barefoot! Reading stories to the younger children. Lighting the chalice. Wearing fancy dresses while having a picnic in the church kitchen with my best friend. Pancake breakfasts with my church mentor. Meeting an out gay man for the first time.
These are some of my most memorable moments growing up in Unitarian Universalist religious education and they provide me with the deep spiritual roots I bring to you as SKUU’s new religious educator. What is most meaningful about my religious education experiences was the profound sense of safety, trust, wonder, and respect that pervaded them. Children and adults alike learn through relationships and experiences, much more than through the explicit information we give them. UU values seeped into my bones because I was surrounded by adults that respected and loved children, fueled my sense of awe and wonder, and created a world for me that was radically safe. In short, church was a true sanctuary.
As a minister, part of my ministry is devoted to reproductive and family justice activism. Sadly, in many gatherings and meetings, I am often the only religious leader. Why is it that I see no division between spirituality, religious practice, and our bodies? No division between how we understand what many call God and how we raise our children? Because I was raised in a safe, healthy, and loving UU community. Because of what YOU taught me—by the way you held my hand walking through that creek and the conversations I had with you over pancakes.
Over the next two years, we will have the opportunity to continue SKUUC’s ongoing work to create a multigenerational, spiritual home for children, youth, and adults. In our busy, often overscheduled lives, I am excited to work with you all in creating experience of sanctuary, exploration, and wonder for our children and youth. I am excited to help our children discover and learn UU values, to let those values seep deep into their bones and beings.
Thank you for welcoming me into your religious community! May our time together be full of caring relationship, rich meaning, and fabulous fun!