Having been raised Methodist and Presbyterian, by high school I was moving away from Christianity. I needed to create my own language to describe my spiritual experience, and not use the language that had been handed down over the centuries. Indeed, the creation of the language was in many ways the experience itself. 


In my younger years I worked at jobs that barely paid the bills, but gave me lots of interesting experience. I did this while I searched for a way to make a living at something that might also satisfy my spiritual/creative yearning. My spiritual path took me through a Master’s degree in Philosophy, which didn't help me toward that goal.


Eventually, I decided it was time to concentrate on making a living. I took a 7- month course to learn mainframe programming, and the job I got at an insurance company gave me real financial independence. This enabled me to make changes in a big way, and I eventually had an experience that led me to find a church again. 


That’s when I found the Unitarian Universalist church, and it felt like a perfect fit. The service format was familiar from my Protestant childhood, which was comforting, yet theologically it was wide open, allowing me the freedom to create my own expression. Interestingly, I have since come around to value traditional Christian language for the depth and richness of its symbolism, yet I don’t consider myself to be a Christian.


After a couple of years as a Unitarian Universalist, I was feeling unfulfilled in my programming position. I had developed a prayer/meditation practice, and was asking the universe “What can I do to best use my potential?” The word “ministry” came to me in meditation, and I have followed the call since then.

I finished my theological studies and requirements for fellowship in the Unitarian Universalist ministry in 2000, and started my first ministry position that fall. In the years since, I have served five congregations (two as settled, three as interim), and in 2019 came to serve the UU Church of the North Hills in Pittsburgh as its settled minister.  Through it all, I have seen how Unitarian Universalism can save lives, with its inclusive faith that embodies love.

These photos show some of my interests, like hiking and kayaking.

The kitties are my fuzzy family-Felix and Oscar.

© 2018 by Rev. Jane Thickstun