My Ministry

My ministry is based on my belief in the power of Unitarian Universalism to transform lives and to make a difference in the world. 

I believe we have a transformational message in our first principle—taken as the radical statement that it is. The inherent worth and dignity, in other language, is God’s unconditional love that is available to each and every one of us, no matter what we do. Our worth is inherent; it is a part of our being that can’t be taken away or given up. Accepting this at a deep level, truly believing it in the depth of our being, is liberating, and gives us the strength and the confidence and the humility to turn from concern for self to care for others and the world. When we truly believe this principle, we can turn our attention outward; we are better able to do what is good and right, and achieve a spiritual joy that is not dependent on achievements or possessions. I am committed to spreading this saving message to all who can hear it.

I believe our congregations provide a community where people can come together in love and respect to live out our faith, practicing right relations in an environment of relative safety. The purpose of religious community is to create a safe place for people to feel supported and loved for who they are, yet encouraged to try new behaviors and attitudes that can help them grow. I strive in my ministry to help create such community.

My ministry is defined by my vision for the world. I envision a world where all beings are respected. I believe that all beings have inherent worth and dignity, and I am committed to working toward healing our relationship to the earth and all that exists. This commitment includes justice work for all oppressed populations, including women, African Americans, Native Americans, the poor, GBLTQ people, and more. I am concerned about the human issues, but I also believe we need to think more inclusively. Just as our outlook is expanded and our spiritual connection deepened by the realization of our participation in the oppression of other human beings, it is expanded even more when we realize how we participate in the oppression of the natural world.

The following poem expresses well the ministry I wish to participate in together with a vibrant Unitarian Universalist congregation.

We join with the Earth
and with each other,
to bring new life to the land,
to recreate the human community,
to provide justice and peace,
to remember our children,
to remember who we are. . . .
We join together 
as many and diverse expressions 
of one loving mystery,
for the healing of the Earth
and the renewal of all Life.

--Pat Crane, from Life Prayers

© 2018 by Rev. Jane Thickstun