Serving The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of South County is a privilege and a joy. This is a faith community imbued with energy, creativity, productivity and compassion. These are the attributes of a healthy and vibrant congregation. I see my work here as helping the congregation to grow more fully in being "Beloved Community", and we are well on our way there.
Let me introduce myself:
My Personal and Family Situation:
Prior to moving to South County, I lived in Massachusetts, where I raised an active family. My four children are grown and independent. Michael is 43, he is married and the father of five. My daughter, Madga, is 42, she is married and the mother of four. Miriam Rose is 39, is an assistant principal at a Jr.High School in Newton, Massachusetts. Benjamin is 34, is a physician in York City.
My Theological Orientation:
My personal theology is ever evolving, though it remains centered in panentheism. I experience the Divine as both immanent, and transcendent - immanent within the entire natural world, and transcendent in the mystery that we cannot wholly understand, and surely cannot name.
I believe we are all connected at a very primal level, and are called to love one another profoundly. This is a radical love that rejects the belief in separateness that is so often manifested in an ''us versus them'' attitude. In short, I believe in our essential unity.
To a large extent I believe that the work of the church is the work of connection, communication, compassion and love. These we are called to undertake personally, within our communities, as well as globally. Viktor Frankl wrote that "value and being are one," i.e. to exist is to be of value. I believe that we are called to move beyond guarded autonomy, so that we might embody in our faith communities, the notion that value and being are one.
|I have been asked how I deal with other Unitarian Universalist theologies with which I may not be in sympathy.
While my personal theology is a source of great joy and energy, I do not presume that I possess the right theology for everyone. I am not unsympathetic to any UU theology that I have encountered. I do not experience disharmony in our differences, but rather recognize an essential richness and unity in our diverse faith journeys. Commitment to pluralism is a great asset of Unitarian Universalism, in our openness and defenselessness there is true strength. I see my role as one of nurturing the faith development of the individual on his or her own odyssey. I know the difference between their journey and my own. I, therefore seek to provide a secure presence for faith exploration along any lines.
|My View of Ministry:
I believe the ministry of the congregation is a "shared ministry", contributed to by both the laity and the professional staff. In shared ministry a synergy develops, and joint action increases the effectiveness of all participants. I consider my relationship to the laity to be covenantal, based on mutual promises of respect, trust and honor. My leadership style is a manifestation of what I believe. First and foremost I believe in Love. I try to work with an open heart and without guile. Love will always be the foundation of my ministry, it is part of my calling. I also believe in ministering with strength and clarity, speaking with directness, especially when it is uncomfortable to do so. I might say that my leadership style is one of tough and tender love.
Webmasters Note: Additional insight into Betty's beliefs may be found in her sermon "Can Love Save the World?" on our Sermons Page.
|My Approach to Religious Education of Children, Youth and Adults:
I am actively involved with children of all ages at UUCSC. In months where there are five Sundays, I spend the fifth Sunday in the Religious Education program.
The new term for Life Span Religious Education within the UUA is ''Faith Development,'' I say right on! Faith is a universal human activity; it is about making meaning in our lives. This is the heart of the mission of the church. We are about helping people to explore ethics, discern a personal spirituality, discover their own voices and sense of religious identity.
|How I View the Role of Music in the Life of the Congregation: Music
I see music and the arts as part of the heart and soul of liturgy and of the entire life of the congregation. For starters, they add beauty, and I'm all for beauty.
At UUCSC our music is varied, vibrant, moving and fun. I work to use music in innovative and stirring ways in each service that I lead. Music can be as much a part of the service message as the sermon, for it has the ability to speak to the spirit in a unique way.
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This page last revised: 11/06/2012