To Milestones

By Cameron Young

Dear Congregations,

Photo of Southern Region staff - from left, Natalie Briscoe, Cameron Young, Kathy McGowan, and Lillian Drab-Braddick (at UUA headquarters in Boston, MA).

Southern Region staff - from left,
Natalie Briscoe, Cameron Young,
Kathy McGowan, and Lillian Drab-Braddick
(at UUA headquarters in Boston, MA, 2023)

This May marked a very important milestone for me. After 6 arduous years of 81 credit hours, I completed my Master of Divinity, the degree that is generally required for those pursuing ordained ministry. I began my studies as a religious educator in a local congregation and was fortunate enough to be hired by the Southern Region toward the end of my second semester. While I was apprehensive about my ability to manage the workload of full-time work for the UUA and half-time graduate school, there were those, our lead Natalie Briscoe included, that believed in me. Having been able to participate in an immersive learning experience and having a direct ministry context such in which to apply has been invaluable - a gift not afforded to many.

I do plan on engaging the rest of the process of ordination in Unitarian Universalism with our Ministerial Fellowship Committee, not because it is essential to my career, but because it is a sacred calling that I’ve felt for 12 years now. There was something greater than myself which was pulling me in that direction of serving our people and our faith. Many have asked me if I am leaving the UUA to pursue a congregational ministry. To this I say, “why serve only one church when I can serve two hundred?” Sharing this journey with all of you has affirmed my vocation in denominational ministry. In my five years on Southern Region staff, I have celebrated with you as you’ve ordained and installed ministers, opened new buildings, and celebrated anniversaries, grieved with you as our congregations changed through COVID, suffered losses, and navigated conflict, and finally, we’ve fought like hell together against the hostile political climate we’re facing in the south whilst championing our faith and its values. It’s been a privilege to share in this journey, both mine and yours.

In closing, the late author Toni Morrison says “I tell my students, 'When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.” It is my vocation to empower you all, just as you have empowered me.

With Gratitude,

Cameron Young (they/them)

Congregational Life Staff

Southern Region UUA

cyoung@uua.org

About the Author

Cameron Young

Cameron Young is a native Texan and lifelong Unitarian Universalist. Having grown up in those programs, they developed a particular affinity for youth and young adult ministry. Prior to joining the UUA, Cameron served as a lifespan religious educator in Fort Worth, Texas for five years, having...

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