I entered a Unitarian Universalist congregation for the first time in 1976 at The First Unitarian Society of Madison Wisconsin. I found a refuge. I was deeply troubled with Christianity then because my three sisters had become fundamentalists and judgmental. The seven principles of Unitarian Universalism offered a remedy to judgment. Bruce and I joined that congregation, followed by three others as we moved to various cities. A fourth move brought us to Brookfield in 1990. Every UU congregation is as different as the varied members and ministers. When we came to UUCW we received a warm welcome and felt at home. When we said we wanted to become members within a few weeks, the minister, Dave McPherson, suggested we take more time to be sure. We didn’t need to and here I still am, more than 33 years later.

I came to understand Unitarian Universalism at a deeper level through various spiritual exploration courses in the UU Wellspring program. I took the first one as my mom was dying. The course not only helped me to know my faith, it helped me discern my beliefs about death. More recently I have taken the Beloved Conversations course to explore and learn how my whiteness has impacted my life and attitudes. That work is part of my spiritual evolution.

This past year we have learned how the UUA has revised our principles into a covenant centered around love. I’m inspired to take another Wellspring course to explore what that means for us as a faith, a congregation, and for me individually. UUCW revised its mission statement last year too. It ties into the UUA covenant. Our mission is Grounded in love, UUCW is a joyful community committed to spiritual growth, inclusion, and justice. I’m proud our denomination and this community evaluate and alter what guides us.

My hope for the future UUCW is that we continue to be a refuge for those in need. I hope that as a community in Brookfield Wisconsin and as individuals we explore and deepen our spirituality and how it is enmeshed in the UU faith. I dream we value and practice our covenants and that we continue to evaluate and evolve. May we continue to offer a warm welcome to whoever walks through our doors.