UU Campus Ministry: More Than Free Pizza

snapshot_bannersnapshot-2009-03-15Ricky Klein and Sean Honnea lead UU campus ministry at U.C. Berkeley

Sean Honnea and Ricky Klein are first-year students at Starr King, and they have quickly found their niche. Together, they lead the UU Campus Ministry at UC-Berkeley, where the two try to “catch people on fire and catch them for our movement.”

So far, they’ve been hot. Weekly meetings, on such topics as spiritual reflection and liberal religious theology, have attracted growing participation.  And at a recent “Soulful Sundown” service focusing on social justice, Ricky says, “we filled every seat in the house.”

Both students enjoy serving young adults. Ricky, a lifelong UU from Vermont, says: “I feel very, very drawn to college groups. I’m 23 years old, so young people see me as one of their own, and there is a sense that I can relate to them. I’m taking advantage of the age I am.”

Meanwhile, Sean, 30, first connected with UUism at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. “I see my calling as working with young people in transition or struggling with issues of identity,” he says. A military veteran, he may return to the armed forces as a chaplain someday.  “I can’t think of a more at-risk population today than young people in military service,” he says.

The campus ministry at UC-Berkeley receives support from UU congregations in Berkeley and Oakland.  Sean and Ricky believe that college campuses across the country are teeming with potential UUs. “We don’t need to convert people,” says Sean. “But our values come across and that makes it easier for all of us to do our work in the world.”

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