It’s Just Sort of Inclusion Right Away
NANCYby Kristen Psaki kristen [dot] psaki [at] gmail [dot] com @kristenpsaki Nancy Stevens Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Oregon
“I was invited to join the UU Fellowship in Frisco, CO in 1996 and my friend said, ‘This is a church for the non-religious’ and I said, ‘Oh that would be me!’ So I started that in ’96. And I’ve been part of three different fellowships since then.”
Nancy Stevens’ heart grows bigger by the second as she shares how her UU communities have impacted her life.
“A big thing for me – I get all teary here – um, that the LGBT community is welcome in this fellowship. It’s not very often that we’re accepted. It was so neat to be here this week when the marriage equality passed. Just to have that support.”
Nancy’s big beautiful tears continue to well up as she describes the General Assembly buzz after the legal arrival of nationwide marriage equality:
“Having 4,000 people celebrating! That’s just a really cool thing.”
“And, my family isn’t supportive of my lifestyle and so it was really neat to be able to share that with so many people.”On #LivingUU
Whether it’s serving on the Caring Committee at her fellowship, various boards, or participating in a Nonviolent Communication skills workshop, Nancy loves her UU fellowship and tries to participate with compassion.
“[I’m] just trying to help people out. People help me out a lot and I try to do the same for other people.”
“When I joined in Oregon we had the most terrific minister - Heather Rion Starr. I’ve been fortunate. I often feel like the sermons have been written for me! I love that people do think for themselves. I love working with the kids. There are so many neat kids, and the values that the parents give their kids in the fellowship.”
After finishing the interview and turning off the recorder, Nancy asked if she could offer one more story. Through a few more beautiful tears she shared:
“Before I even joined Rev. Heather purchased the braille hymnal.”
“And one of the guys of the Good Times Group came up to me after just attending the church and he said, ‘You know, we have a cross country ski group do you want to ski with us?’ I said I would need to arrange guides and he said, ‘Oh, I’ll learn how!’ And several people have learned. So, you know, it’s just sort of inclusion right away. It was really neat.”
Finally, “A huge thank you to the accessibility people at GA. Patty Cameron is amazing!”[Nancy is pictured with Abby, her companion guide dog.] Find more stories of #LivingUU here.
The authors of #Living UU are Beth Neavel-Cortez and Kristen Psaki. Beth is a free-lance journalist based in Austin, Texas. She is a life long Unitarian Universalist who knows that story-telling is what saves us. Kristen is a member of First Unitarian Society of Denver. She is pursuing ministerial ordination with Unitarian Universalist Association. Kristen loves chocolate and coffee, together or separately.