What Ministry Means to Me:
I identify as a pan(en)theist based in process theology with a religious naturalism lens. Which is a fancy way to say that I believe in the divine creative and connective power present in everything that is – including you and me!
When it comes to community, my theology calls me to celebrate the diversity that is created in any gathering. Where two or more are gathered in the name of the Holy, great things are possible. Our coming together brings our various gifts, theologies, questions, joys, sorrows, and more to build something bigger than ourselves.
Unitarian Universalism calls us into community based on covenant rather than creed. Building theologies through collective commitment to our best selves and a better tomorrow. Our covenant calls us into relationship not just with each other’s lives or personalities, but also with each other’s theologies. We agree to be kind and compassionate, curious and respectful, of the theologies around us that interest us – as well as those that challenge us. As a minister, I am called to help make that possible, by equipping us with tools and language to be in covenant and be in the world more fully, and by reminding us of the covenants we have made.
My Path to Ministry:
Realizing my call to ministry was like a snowball – three unrelated people mentioned it to me in quick succession; the voice of the Holy, embodied in each of them, reaching out to me.
Throughout the other phases of my life, I had made a concerted effort to create or help sustain life-giving communities. Sometimes this took place within religious institutions, and sometimes it meant other things, like building a community of gamers on my college campus, where playful connection and hobbies were the foundation for forming real relationships. Now I was given a new set of vocabulary to frame my dreams and my goals: ministry.
The more I moved into this process, the more I was filled with this sense of belonging — like the tendrils of my spirit were reaching out longer and further into the world and into my own heart. I truly believe that my whole life has been prep work to not only give me experiences and skills that will be adaptable in ministry, but to open my heart, mind, and spirit to the beautiful challenge that lies before me as I continue to explore. In 2016, I began the M. Div. program at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago.
Meadville Lombard’s model often, not so gently, forced me to remember and interact with the world, places, and people that brought me into this work. If our spiritual work, internally and externally, is not grounded in the realities of our modern world, it is simply not as real. My graduate study was rooted in maintaining connections, to those we serve and our sense of self. I believe this means Meadville is equipping religious leaders in and for the modern world.
During the next two years at Meadville, my husband and I moved to Queens, NY, where we live now. I was elected to the Student Advisory Council, first as the M. Div. Representative, and then as the President. I served as the part-time ministerial intern at the UU Fellowship of Huntington under the guidance of Rev. Jude Geiger. There, I started and supported a Young Adult Ministry. My internship at UUFH was full of collaborative learning, opportunities for leadership, and joyful memories.