Reverend Hilary Landau Krivchenia
I welcome you to Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist. I appreciate your curiosity. Perhaps you are one of those people (and there are so many) who are tired of the way that organized religion has been headed in our country.
You may be hoping to find a place where dogma is not king and where you are encouraged to be curious, to learn, to think for yourself, to focus on what is truly important. You might be hoping for a faith that will support you in being ethical rather than moralistic. Or you might be longing for a community that asks everyone to become a reciprocal participant in a life-affirming covenant. You might be seeking a faith tradition and community where the focus is not on simply repeating ancient stories – but on addressing the real challenges our society, our communities, our families, and we face: income inequality, climate change, racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, hunger, violence, and fear. You might be seeking a community that helps to break down the isolation of suburban North America. You might be hoping to find a faith community where your questions will be welcomed. You might simply be longing for a faith community that values love, justice, and interdependence over rhetoric, ideology, fear.
If these are the things that you hope for and seek – this is your community.
I came to Unitarian Universalism in high school – through a friend – and discovered a faith community that, at the time, asked little of me – but gave me a world. I found people who cared about the world and had a strong sense of social responsibility that mirrored my own. At the same time, the Unitarian Universalist tradition welcomed my questions and my ever evolving view points on everything spiritual, social, and personal. I joined then and, in my thirties, realized that this was a tradition I wanted to serve with my whole heart.
I attended Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, where I met the man I married – Mark. All three of our children in this blended family have been raised in Unitarian Universalist settings – attending worship, youth groups, summer camp, religious education. I have seen in them all the remarkable wisdom and balance, the wide view, open minds and hearts, that this tradition offers. And today, this tradition asks more of us at every time of life. It asks us to grow, explore, thrive, dare, give, and serve.
Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist, where I have served for 8 years, is, itself, a wonderful Unitarian Universalist congregation – always challenging itself, looking beyond the walls to the world, and reaching deep for the qualities for soul that enrich life. It’s an exciting congregation to serve because we are always seeking new learning, cultivating community, and celebrating life.
I am especially inspired by the love and energy that the congregation as a whole puts into the religious education program for all ages. The passion to offer an ethical, critical thinking, spiritually grounded foundation for children and young people is clear here in the numbers of our members who teach in our Sunday School and in the thriving young people who come out of our program.
I have also been delighted by the steady growth in membership among young adults. It is a community within our community that welcomes singles, single parents, young families, college students, graduate students, people working full time. It is a ministry that has grown so beautifully over the past 8 years.
Countryside is a strong faith community and we look forward to welcoming you here –