I use the pronouns he, she, or they, interchangeably – I appreciate anything that is said in love.
My story into Unitarian Universalism is one that sounds familiar to many. I grew up Methodist and was heavily dedicated to the church, even helping facilitate a large youth retreat in Estes Park, CO. My faith was heavily developed by my “Gramma Mac”, who had love of all people. At 12, I didn’t have the exact words for it, but now I realize that I was ‘called’ to ministry, while at a church camp that was led by an LGTBQ+ minister. However, following the camp, my family moved to Wyoming from Colorado. Life happened, a lot. My Gramma Mac passed away, I came out, I lost my faith. However, as the divine works, I started therapy at 16. One night for therapy, my therapist took me to the local UU congregation for a PFLAG meeting. While it had been canceled, we sat in on a small group meditation practice and I felt my soul come alive.
Nearly 10 years later, I had an unchurched child that needed to round off some of the rough edges that I had created from my disappointment in church. So, thinking back, I took him to the UU congregation in Cheyenne, WY. As it happens, we found community, we found love, we found committees, and soon, we were immersed. My partner, Deanne, was the reflection that I needed to remind me that I had been mentioning being a minister since she met me. I had been running from it for so long, that it was time to respond to the call. So, I pursued ministry as what I call the “next logical step in my accounting and finance career”.
Unitarian Universalism has brought so much to this world and to my life. To me, the principles exemplify the life that I want to live – one that values the inherent worth and dignity of all people. As a seminarian at Starr King, I have learned that I preach what I also need to hear – it’s a lesson for me. Starr King has prepared me for ministry in a multi-faceted, dynamic way – all while helping me dismantle my own personal ties to white supremacy. Dismantling white supremacy culture starts with those of us that have profited from the perpetuation of this. Educating to Counter Oppressions, or what we call “ECO” has been one of the greatest learnings that I will take away from SKSM.