Greetings from the MVUUC Nominating Committee

As members of the Nominating Committee, we are charged with the responsibility of creating the slate of candidates for the Ministerial Search Committee that will be voted upon at an upcoming congregational meeting.

It is critical for us to have input from every member in the congregation. The members of the Nominating Committee intend to place a call to each member’s household and ask you to consider the following questions about who among us would be the most effective members to join the Ministerial Search Committee:

  • Who can represent the whole congregation well (which would include looking out for the needs of children) and not just a piece or “faction” of the church? Who would have “no axe to grind” and who can serve the entire congregation?


  • Who in the congregation works well with others?


  • Who knows the history and culture of the church, whether old or newer to the congregation, and is grounded in our faith tradition?


  • Who can speak to a potential minister about our congregation on its best and worst days, about its strengths and weaknesses?


After thinking of these questions, who in the congregation would have your trust in working on our common behalf on our Search Committee? Remember this is a poll, it is not a vote or a nomination.

We will be seeking seven members to join this committee, so up to three suggestions are welcome. Feel free to suggest yourself. All those interested will be asked to fill out an application form that will be made available shortly.

Once the candidate applications have been assembled, reviewed and vetted by the Nominating Committee, a slate of seven people will be chosen by the Nominating Committee, and then the slate will be voted on at a congregational meeting in April.


So, expect a call from us soon!

Catherine Rowlee, Cynthia Humes, Debbi Scurto, Martha Esparza
MVUUC Nominating Committee


Unitarian Universalists from around the world will meet, converse, and strategize about what they can do to make the world a better place.     This is the 20th ICUU Council and Conference meeting.  The Mennorode conference center is focused around environmental sustainability – see more on the website.
From July 17- July 22nd starting Sunday @ 5pm to 9am Fri in Mennorode, Espleet, the Netherlands.  Three members from MVUUC will attend the Conference –  Julie Steinbach, Tom Thorward and Anne Thorward.  They intend to share their experiences later this year.

Saturday Work Day at MVUUC

Thanks to Bruce Mount for his leadership to organize a Work Day on our church grounds.  All volunteers made a difference in our “street view” and enjoyed the experience. Manny Soto, Joyce Greene, Terrie Maguire, Catherine Rowlee, Corey Boss, Tom Thorward, Anne Thorward , Bob Taylor, Lori McLaughlin, Doug McLaughlin, Dave Albay-Yenny, Steve Shirley, Bob Mendoza, & Bruce Mount.

Special thanks to Doug McLaughlin for trailering his garden tractor to the site, and to Manny Soto and Bob Taylor for bringing weed whackers.

Beyond Binaries – Rev. Ann Schranz

revannFor nearly 20 years of my adult life, I had a “project” of sorts going on in the background. My project did not get in the way of holding down a job, making friends, having relationships, seeing a bit of the world, paying bills, making mistakes, learning, growing, and generally “functioning” in the world. In fact, my project added luster and complexity and depth to all those activities. I am referring to the project of sorting out my sexual orientation.

As many of you know, I identified as heterosexual through college. From my mid 20’s to my mid 30’s, I identified as lesbian. From my mid 30’s on, I have identified as bisexual. It took the better part of a decade to settle into identifying as bisexual. So I am one of the tongue-in-cheek “lucky” ones who has come out twice. 😉 It was far easier coming out as lesbian than it was coming out as bisexual. I wrote about my experience in an essay titled “From Orientation to Orienteering.” It was published 15 years ago in the book Blessed Bi Spirit: Bisexuals of Faith, edited by Debra Kolodny. My remarks this morning are a hybrid between homily and religious education.

If I had identified as heterosexual my entire life, I would probably find it mystifying that sorting out two shifts in sexual orientation could take 20 years and merit the label “project.” What’s the fuss? What’s to sort out? For one thing, sexual orientation turns out to be more complicated that was generally thought even a few decades ago. There is a complex interplay between affectional feelings, erotic feelings, and romantic feelings. It is helpful to think of each of them as a separate orientation.

Wayne Pawlowski has created the AER (affectional orientation / erotic orientation / and romantic orientation) model to do just that. To distinguish among the three orientations, he asks open-ended questions:

A. Affectional orientation: “With whom do you prefer to socialize? With which sex(es) do you feel most comfortable and relaxed?”

B. Erotic orientation: “Which sex(es) turn(s) your on erotically? To whom are you attracted as real, potential, or fantasy sexual partners?”

C. Romantic orientation: “With whom do you fall in love? With whom do you fall in love most easily?”

The AER (Affectional/erotic/romantic) model allows for the possibility that a person may answer “no one” to the questions, and it allows for gender diversity in a way that previous models did not. In that sense, bisexuality is beyond a binary view of gender. Wayne Pawlowski suggests that of the three orientations, affectional is the most influenced by environment/upbringing/life experience. Erotic orientation and romantic orientation tend to be far less influenced by environment. My interpretation is that the “born that way” stance regarding sexual orientation is an exaggeration and oversimplification of the scientific research. It is likely that for two of the three orientations, we are born with a strong propensity. The third orientation is more malleable, especially for women.

Three sexual orientations for everyone, not just one, accounts for some of the reason why sorting out one’s orientations can take a while. And then there is society’s attitude. Not falling in line with society’s most prevalent way of relating to others can bring the risk of suffering. Not falling into the expected line takes courage and merits support from religious liberals.

Not falling in line also brings the risk of joyful relating and the deep pleasure of authenticity! It is quite frankly too easy for joy to get lost in the shuffle when talking about bisexuality because the suffering caused by prejudice and discrimination against bisexuals can be intense. For example, there is a section called “Healing the Suffering” in this excellent new publication on bisexuality by the Religious Institute of Westport, CT. Alas, there I no section called “Reveling in the Joy.” For the joy, you will have to look elsewhere. We might seek out and get to know bisexuals. The odds are they would love to talk about their joy, not only their suffering.

Yes, there is both suffering and joy in bisexuality. As a general philosophy, if we start feeling overwhelmed by suffering, it is time to search for some joy. If we start feeling overwhelmed by joy, it is time to search for the suffering of others. Why? So that we can be in touch with as much of reality as possible and be positioned to respond wisely and compassionately.