I have served as the Director of Children’s Ministry since July of 2015. I like museums, colored pens, stories, dancing, rivers, and writing. I live in two places! Downtown Phoenix and the Picuris Pueblo in Northern New Mexico. I have a dog named Ambrose and 9 chickens that we didn’t name Parmesan, Nugget, or Saltimbocca. At UUCP you might get to meet these members of my family: Elena, Stephanie, Ashley, Nigel, Bela, Barb, and Scotty. They vary in heights and ages.
As Director of Children’s Ministry, I work to make sure that children are an integrated and integral part of our faith community. I support kiddos and their families as they grow spiritually, socially, and emotionally. I also make sure that the wisdom children carry can be conveyed to the adults in their community. Sometimes, I like to describe my job this way, “I help kids explain spirit, souls, peace, love, and death to their parents.”
I love thinking about, talking about, and building community. I believe that a strong network of love and care can soften life’s hardest moments. That same network can also be the tool that changes the world. At UUCP, I have seen one person’s willingness to order pizza mean that someone else can do childcare so that yet another community member can speak out against racism at city council. Together we make things better.
I am passionate about radical inclusion. This means I think that communities are stronger when we make space for everyone in the community to be a full part of the community. This means we have to give people the tools and opportunity to talk about who they are, figure out their identities, and continue to change throughout their lives.
Accessible spaces include accessible language. As much as I love to write flowery, eloquent journal entries, I try to make sure what I share at UUCP is easy to understand and engaging. (That includes things like staff page bios.)
Things I’ve done that help me do my job:
- Listened and watched and learned from great storytellers
- Received amazing occupational therapy and remedial education (This means people helped me to do the things I was expected to with the unexpected way my body and brain work.)
- Went to college a few times, got some degrees, one of them with a focus on Education and Peacebuilding
- Lived in intentional communities and multi-generational households
- Taught elementary and middle school
- Developed and delivered adult curriculum on very hard issues like human trafficking and sexual health
- Let myself completely geek out on any corner of my work that has sparked my interest. Want to talk about the Shakers’ willingness to take care of children in need and their commitment not to indoctrinate those kids? Or do you want to know how Buckminister Fuller’s childhood church life “shaped” the geodesic dome? (Did I mention I love puns?)