I use the word “God” interchangeable for the Divine, the Spirit of Life, and the Great Mystery. I use it because I have spent so many years praying to that name, and it feels familiar to me. I walked a solitarian Wiccan path as a younger adult so during my own spiritual practice, I continue to cast my pagan circles and light candles prior to meditation and prayer. I call in my guides, pull insight from my tarot decks, and I contemplate a large variety of poetry. I study the Sufi interpretation of the Ninety-Nine names of Allah, which I find deeply rich and stirring to my spirit. I welcome both theological study and mysticism into my continued practices and those I share with others.
Unitarian Universalism has become the container that holds my spiritual practices and continual religious curiosity. What drew me to Unitarian Universalism is that while I didn’t have a set religion, I very much had my own spiritual covenant with the Divine. I recognized within this religious home I could explore my panentheistic theology and the multireligiosity I longed for. After only one visit to First Unitarian Universalist Church in Portland, Oregon, I knew I’d found a home for myself and my family. We became members in 2008 and in over thirteen years, my husband and I volunteered in classrooms and pageants, and I volunteered as the Usher Coordinator, with the Adult Programs Committee and on the Transitions Committee.
Currently, I am a resident chaplain in the year-long CPE program at Mary Washington Hospital. Already this position has challenged my pastoral presence and ability to spiritually assess those I minister. It allows me to develop ministerial skills in an interfaith environment and I am grateful for this opportunity. My chaplain supervisor said, “God is already in the room. We must simply connect.” With that invitation, I hope to fulfill my call to ministry.