I grew up a Unitarian Universalist, and when I moved to Boulder in 2009 I was looking for a church community to join. I have always felt a strong spiritual connection to social justice work. It wasn’t until I joined the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder that I realized what a central role my liberal religious upbringing played in cultivating that part of myself.

I got involved with the Young Adult group, and as the Social Justice chair I supported our group in approaching oppression from a spiritual place and opened up a dialogue about issues that were important for us to address as a community. When I took over as the Chair of the Young Adult group, we focused on LGBTQ+ issues for a year, leading the congregation in workshops and services to better understand the oppression faced within this community and the ways we could seek change.

I decided at that point that I wanted to join the Welcoming Congregation ministry and fulfill my spiritual needs through the practice of creating a more open and welcoming spiritual home for all who crossed through our doors. I am proud of our efforts to create more inclusive bathroom signs at the church — updating the icons, creating a gender-neutral space, and having the signs in English, Spanish, and Braille.

I’m also proud of our support of Standing of the Side of Love and the amazing work to support marriage equality, immigrant rights, and black lives. I’ve become more involved with the Black Lives Matter movement and dedicated to addressing not simply each oppression on its own but the intersectionalities of social justice work and the broader work of creating a welcoming community. This work connects me to all seven of our UU Principles in unique and beautiful ways.

I am so grateful to the UUCB community that has nurtured this love of justice within me, supported this work alongside me, and helped me to incorporate this passion into my own spiritual journey.