Lauren Wyeth, Faith Development Specialist and Congregational Life Consultant
We need one another. With trans lives on the line and access to reproductive health care shrinking, as the pandemic becomes endemic and the struggle for racial justice continues, it’s clear that our individual freedoms are bound to our collective liberation.
What a privilege and a responsibility it is, then, to be co-creators of spiritual communities, where we might practice what it means to acknowledge how much we matter to one another, showing up with soup on someone’s doorstep or a sign of support at a public action, listening deeply in small groups and allowing others to hold our stories, ensuring everyone can access worship and all are warmly welcomed into our religious education spaces. We need one another, and intentionally living into this truth is an expression of our UU faith.
Serving First Universalist Church of Minneapolis as Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministries for 11 years, I saw up close how focusing on our interdependence changes lives for the better, smoothing the hard edges, softening the sorrow, amplifying the joy, and scaffolding the search for the meaning of it all. I saw, too, what happens when we fail to affirm and witness each person's inherent dignity and place in the whole, and the harm that causes individuals and the community.
On every level, it is true that we need one another – person to person, in our congregations, and between them. As a new member of your MidAmerica Regional staff team, I’ll serve as the Faith Development Specialist and a Congregational Life Consultant. I’m fascinated by the opportunity to focus on this fractal level of the pattern, tending to our denominational interdependence. What happens when we understand our unique communities as part of a larger faith tradition, with many expressions across time and place? What might we learn about ourselves by learning about other Unitarian Universalist congregations? What burdens might be lightened when we draw on others’ wisdom, or freely share our own “mistakes and miracles?”
I look forward to exploring these questions with you. I will do my best to draw connections, to support the sharing of resources, to reliably and joyfully care for this network that needs each part and nourishes us all, a region that explores and illustrates what might be possible when our values are at the root of the relationships we build, from the ground up.
With gratitude for the warm welcome thus far and glad anticipation of the collaborations to come,
Lauren Wyeth (she/they) is the Faith Development Specialist and a Congregational Life Consultant with the MidAmerica Regional Staff.
She is an Advanced Level Credentialed Religious Educator who is passionate about growing interdependent, joyful, justice-seeking, liberating communities for people of all ages and diverse identities.
Before joining the MidAmerica staff in July 2023, Lauren served First Universalist Church of Minneapolis for over a decade as the Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministries and as a member of the Leadership Team. She also brings 15 years of experience as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
Lauren lives in Minneapolis, MN with her long-time beloved, Allison. They have two young adult sons. In her free time, Lauren enjoys a spiritual practice of walking in whatever weather each day brings.