My husband Mike and I recently celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. We met and fell in love over the telephone in our mid-thirties. We had fast-paced careers, and knew we had lived very full and unusual lives. Mike worked for Joe Biden at the time and it was part of his job to get Joe on TV. I was in charge of news coverage at Philadelphia’s top TV stations. We quickly learned how much we enjoyed talking with one another. Twenty-five years later, that is still true. We are still each other’s soul mate. We have supported one another in the pursuit of our individual dreams. And when I get in the car at the end of a long day of ministry, I can’t wait to call Mike to tell him all about it.
We have raised two daughters together. Morgan is 23 years old. She is a writer, a dreamer and deeply committed to her Goddess-centered spirituality. Morgan takes her time with life, savoring the pleasures of every day. Among her circle of friends, Morgan is the confidante and attentive listener. Alix is 20. She is an engineer and an artist, determined to make her mark as soon as she possibly can, and always eager to be further ahead with life than she already is. When she was a baby, she would wave her hands over her head in frustration, because she knew what she wanted to do but her little body couldn’t yet execute her wishes.
As we launch our daughters into adulthood, Mike and I feel proud that we have been able to provide them with a stable, loving home. We know our children and they know us. Unlike many of our friends, we spent a lot of time with our kids as they grew up. Mike and I both worked from home for many of those years, and I homeschooled with them for most of their elementary school years and early high school. The time went by quickly, as our elders always told us it would, but I’m grateful we didn’t miss their growing up.
Over breakfast this morning Mike and I talked about this. He and I did not know what it was to call one place “home.” Both of us grew up in many different places, acutely aware of how little choice we had in the matter. We gave our children an experience of “home” we wanted them to have and in the process, we have given it to ourselves too.
As a child, I shuttled between Puerto Rico and New Jersey. We traveled widely and lived in different cultures. I grew up speaking three languages, including English and French, with my native language being Spanish. Later I studied Italian, Latin, Greek and Hebrew. I was privileged to receive high quality education.
Both of my parents died before I began my path to ministry, but they would have approved of Unitarian Universalism’s commitment to diverse spiritual communities and traditions. My mother was an avowed atheist who shared her experience of seeing zombies in the Afro-Caribbean spirituality of her childhood. A courageous, Latinx feminist, she taught me to read SImone Beauvoir before I was 11 years old. My dad grew up in a charismatic Lutheran sect native to Lapland. I translated his lectures into Spanish so that he could deliver them at the University of Puerto Rico.
Unitarian Universalism gives me a sacred space to be who I am. It gives me something unaccountably precious to fight for and nurture. It holds me accountable for building community and living in right relationship. It calls me to re-imagine community so we can heal our human fractures and our fragile planet together.
I am persuaded by James Luther Adams’ vision of a ‘prophethood of all believers.’ After six years on the path to ministry, I have now seen how this prophethood embraces and engages our people. I hope to serve this vision for the rest of my life, by continuing to teach, preach and walk with my fellow UUs through our sanctuary doors to face the pain in our world together. And I am wholeheartedly committed to evangelizing on behalf of this beloved movement. Our commitments will tell our story.