UUFA Newsletter – June 22, 2024

Please join us for a Special Sunday Service this week:

Sunday, June 23 – Noon- 1:00 PM – Potluck (please bring a dish to share along with a label stating ingredients – please do this extra step for those with food allergies.

1:00 PM – We will view the UUA General Assembly Sunday Service together .

Thanks to Richard Thieret and Pete Mather for serviing as our two delegates this year.

Sunday Worship: “Weaving Our Lives”General Assembly 2024

Rev. Molly Housh Gordon will be joined by Violet Vonder Haar, Jamila Bachelder, Rev. Leon Dunkely, Rev. Eric Kaminetsky, Rev. Joan Javier-Duvall, Rev. Jordinn Nelson Long, Rev. Aaron Wisman, Rev. Sadie Lansdale, and Rev. Sarah Oglesby-Dunegan.

Featuring musicians: Natasha Steinmacher, GA Music Coordinator; Lea Morris; Francisco Ruiz; beheld; Violet Vonder Haar; Paul Winchester; and choirs from All Souls Unitarian Church, Indianapolis, IN; First Parish in Concord, MA; First Parish UU in Lexington, MA; First UU Congregation of Ann Arbor, MI; UU Fellowship in Athens, GA; UU Fellowship of Poughkeepsie, NY; UU Church in Cherry Hill, NJ; UU Church in Reston, VA; and UU of Minnetonka, MN.

Join us virtually for the largest annual gathering of UUs in worship





 SEORA News ( Our Partner  Organization) 

News from Susan Westenbarger, Our UUFA Board Rep to serve on the SEORA Board)

Another amazing event is coming up from our SEORA Partners.  They are looking for our help to volunteer  for Saturday, June 29, for the Chauncey Pride event. They’re looking for assistance with staffing the SEORA table and handing out flyers. It’s two hours from 12-2, although if people can’t commit for the full 2 hours, that’s fine too.  People who can help can contact me directly at suusanw.uu@gmail.com or text 240-305-0860.



  New Members !  We celebrate two new members at UUFA –  Willow Wightman who became a new member on Sunday ,June th . We also welcomed John Regan on Sunday  , June 16th.  Welcome to both of you 🙂

If you are interested in becoming a member, please reach out to a service leader or board member. The process is easy and painless, we promise!  The requirements are that you sign our membership book and make an idenfiable financial contribution within each calendar year.


Unitarian Universalist Association Home

Weekly  Inspiration from the UUA

Queering Me

“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”
—Brené Brown, in Daring Greatly

I never perceived myself as “queer.” Growing up, what little I learned from my elders about being “gay” was that the term “queer” was a bad word. It was a hateful word, along with specific other derogatory terms, which I dared never to utter. I aimed to do no harm, and thus that word was off limits. And why would I personally ever need to use it?

In college, as a philosophy and sociology double major, I studied and grew in classes like “Race Matters” and “Sex and Gender.” My learning intertwined with my social, personal, and activist life outside of class. Within this mix I learned to rethink “queer.”

Reclaiming words from oppressors was something my LGBTQ+ friends were actively doing. “Queer,” I first felt was a hard pill to swallow to call myself; did it even apply to me? A biracial, African-American, disabled, and bisexual woman—there were layers to deconstruct to understand being comfortable with claiming a word steeped in hate. I similarly wavered on reclamation of words geared toward my gender, race, and skin color. It would take time, and testing, to gauge how queer felt for me.

Today, the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights and safe space continues, but it has changed. From the change, I am inspired and motivated. LGBTQ+ identities and lived experiences are not as secretive—at least where I am. There are spaces more available: actively made by queer folk and allies, aiming to make what they, too, could have used for self and others. With this, younger generations are building upon the work of LGBTQ+ predecessors. They proudly move and work to reclaim and create spaces, identity markers, and terms to make inclusion and representation possible.

Recognizing more than a rigid gender binary, I now consider myself pansexual. With that awareness, something clicked for me. Maybe I didn’t get “queer” because I wasn’t there yet on my journey of discovery. In community—and coming to know and appreciate others—I learned to know and appreciate myself.

“Queer” challenges the status quo; it dares me to be authentically myself. Whether meaning odd, or outside the scope of heteronormative sexuality or gender, it fits me. It’s empowering to take back this word: I am proudly part of the LGBTQ+ community. I am queer.


Spirit, be as guide; in my own time to know myself, and the words that uniquely empower my being, to truly be my whole, authentic, beloved self. Blessed be.

About the Author

Vanessa Titang (she/her/they) is a biracial, first generation African American, pansexual, and disabled minister in Preliminary Fellowship. She attended Smith College for a BA in Philosophy and Sociology, and Wheelock College for a MS in Organizational Leadership, before finding Unitarian Universalism.