This work comes from a very personal place for me, so let me introduce myself. I grew up in Seattle, Washington during the 80’s and 90’s, with a slightly unconventional upbringing. My parents were engaged in alternative medicine, community theater, music, and I was homeschooled. My family’s religious and spiritual beliefs were a mix of New Age practices and general agnosticism, gradually shifting toward Wicca and paganism in my tween and teen years. I was also very much shaped by the unrealized dream of my parents to go back to the land and live off grid and self-sufficiently. This self-sufficiency ideal became a bit of a survivalist and prepper stage for me as a teen, as I focused on being prepared for disaster, emergency, and the possible end of the world.
My life was changed by an unlikely source, a post-apocalyptic science fiction book (The Postman, by David Brin). Reading this tale of communities surviving and rebuilding led me to a profound shift in mindset from individual survival to community mutuality. Community has been important to me ever since. I joined a Unitarian Universalist congregation in my teen years and have been UU ever since, I served in the National Guard, and I have volunteered actively for everything from hiking trail maintenance to volunteer chore services for those in need. In the last decade or so, I have also been increasingly made aware of the need for justice and systems change in our society, and that civic engagement includes protest, political action, and the centering of voices that have been marginalized and ignored for too long.
I am married to a man I met in the National Guard, and we are raising two young people, who I homeschooled for part of their education. We live on a four acre “hobby farm”, trying to live sustainably and steward this land well. I have a Masters in Teaching and have been a religious educator for a Unitarian Universalist congregation for 13 years, and I am now in process to become ordained as an Interfaith Chaplain from the Chaplaincy Institute. The call to ministry that I feel is very much to eco-ministry, tending to people and the planet in the face of climate chaos and environmental degradation.
I bring all of this to the 12 Movements curriculum. And I bring the reality that I do not represent all view points or human experiences. I am white, middle class, educated, a cis-woman, living in a heterosexual relationship, and fairly able-bodied. The challenges I face in life will be different, and in many cases smaller, than the challenges faced by others living with different identities and social locations. It is my humble hope that there is still something of use here for most, if not all, people. This is my gift-offering, and as such please feel free to take what works for you and leave what doesn’t.
Next: The Roots