For an audio version – click here:

Past, present, future . . .

UUSS connects me to my past, my present and my future.  I grew up in a UU church in Rochester, and while I always identified with the message, I never felt myself a member of its community.  As I became an adult, I visited other UU societies but it was not until I came to UUSS that I found my home in this amazing group of people.  I have met some of the most beloved friends of my life here.  People who inspire me to be a better person, to contribute more of myself to the world, and who have helped me to grow out of loneliness to find my voice and love of life.

It was my need for a community to help me guide my girls in the world that brought me here, and it gives me such great joy to know that whatever path they choose in life, the experiences they have had through being members of this community will remain a part of who they become.  I wasn’t sure how I would find only one moment to talk about here today, but the choice was made for me when the day I was asked to speak was the ingathering service.

The one other time I have been asked to speak here was just a year after we became members, and it was the day of the ingathering service then as well.  I remember so clearly how I felt at that moment, returning to church after a summer away, seeing the faces of people whom I was just beginning to know,  and being astonished that standing here, looking out at this beautiful space and this wonderful community, felt just like coming home.  I had always hoped, but never expected, to find such a place, and such a family.

Bridget Almas