Good Morning Everyone,

I feel blessed to be giving my TVUUC Testimonial today. Having grown up the daughter of a Civil Rights Activist in Southwest Georgia in the 1960s, this Church’s continued work on the side of Racial Justice fills me with Pride! The theme of today’s service is fitting and makes me feel at home.

I have felt a kinship to the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church since being welcomed in, to start the 1st Gay AA group in Knoxville in 1987. We met at the old building location for almost a decade. We were accepted and welcomed.

I’d been reared in the Episcopal Church, but had left that belief system behind years before. I had intended to be a priest in that faith, but they’d voted against women in the priesthood, and the God of my Understanding was All-Inclusive.

I came back to the UU Church in 1993 when I married the woman who was my wife for 23 years. Her sister was a (minister) in the UU Church & talked with me about her feelings and beliefs. She gave me hope, that I might be able to be of service in a Beloved Community again.

Next, I came here to listen to a friend sing in the choir. It was Lovely and I heard Reverend Jenny Arthur say “If we can conceptualize God, it is too small.” That struck a chord, and I started coming back. After a couple of years, I joined as a Member.

I don’t show up for Sunday Service often. I have a mental illness that causes me to have an anxiety disorder. But I show up remotely, keeping up with the church activities online. I show up to support our mission with an Annual Pledge of financial support. Though I don’t have much, I know how important it is to give.

This Church allows me to be exactly who I am. I feel Loved & supported. I am part of a Beloved Community that believes in the power of Love and Helping one another, of facing down racism, demanding justice for those who are marginalized & honoring those who have come before us. This is my Spiritual Home. Thank You for Sharing it with Me!