This is What I Was Freakin' Looking For!
EMby Kristen Psaki kristen [dot] psaki [at] gmail [dot] com @kristenpsaki Em du Mond Church of the Larger Fellowship
“A more accurate question than why am I UU is why am I still UU?”
Em du Mond grew up UU. She was dedicated into the church, did RE and OWL, the whole gamut.
“Then when I got into high school there was nothing, like at all.” Since there was no RE program for high school aged youth Em became a childcare worker for the church in order to at least stay connected.
“I was working for them not really getting spiritual nourishment but still going to my community church where everyone knew me.”
Luckily Em learned about Youth Cons her sophomore year of High School and she dove head first into all things Pacific Central District (PCD). She glows when describing the fierce youth empowerment focus of the PCD. At that moment in her life she hungrily accepted leadership responsibilities.
“So I started doing it thinking - give me all the responsibilities it feels so good to be a leader!”
Em served on her district board and on youth committees. She helped with the activist leadership trainings and the middle school ministry. But Em had a moment of a striking clarity in the midst of the mountain of obligations:
“I realized that I was acting without witnessing or reflecting on it. I’m doing all this, to give and give and give, but I’m not enjoying it anymore. Is this what Unitarian Universalism is? Is this what I have to be to be UU? That’s terrible.”
On Choosing Unitarian Universalism as an Adult “Then I kind of flicked a match at all of my too many responsibilities.” Em walked away from a lot and it upset a number of people. Although she’s still wading through the ripple caused by her choice to pull back, she stands firmly in her choice: “I’m more of a UU now after letting all that go.”
Her newly cleared out schedule opened up some space in her life. A couple months later, after partying a lot and fielding difficult relationship quakes and complications, Em decided she needed some church in her life. She happened to be in Arcata, CA for the weekend and decided to check-out the UU fellowship community. It happened to be their annual music service and for Em “it was just perfect.” The fellowship is mostly lay-lead and the choir led the music service that Sunday.
“I love music. Music, for my entire life, has been my personal ministry. Whether I share it with people or not. Singing by myself as loud as I can – the words become a meditation and it matters to me.”
During the music service she had another moment of clarity: “I found it! This is what I miss! This is what I was freakin’ looking for!”
“And it excited me because I realized I was deciding to be Unitarian from that experience. I just needed something to open its arms to me, and it did.”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.