UU Inspiration

Unitarian Universalism affirms that inspiration and meaning may be found in many sources, including experience, history, and religious tradition.

The Unitarian Universalist faith draws from six sources:

  • Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life.

  • Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love.

  • Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life.

  • Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves.

  • Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.

  • Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

- from the UUA

The Reverend McKinley Sims, Consulting Minister

Reverend Sims, who joined us on August 6, 2018, is a native of Texas. He is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and Princeton Theological Seminary. Prior to attending seminary, he worked as a teacher of middle school students at a small independent school in New Haven, Connecticut where he served as a mentor to the boys in his charge.

After two years of teaching, Reverend Sims began a journey towards ministry "...because it seemed like other people needed me to be a minister; like it was a call not just from God, but from humanity, too." He discovered and "fell in love" with Unitarian Universalism following an internship in an Episcopal church. He completed an internship nearby us, at the Unitarian Society of Germantown. At USG Reverend Sims found in social justice ministry an outlet for his desire to be of service and a place for his own work in rebuilding his theology.

Following his internship at USG, Reverend Sims served as an intern at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax in Oakton, Virginia. He then served as a psychiatric chaplain resident at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, DC. He says of his work, "My ministry there with the individuals in care

opened my heart to hear that God of many names "speak", calling me and us forward to love and care for others as we care for ourselves, to honor the image of God in every single being in the universe, even those with whom we don't want to get too close. This is the heart of the gospel I follow, and the heart of the Unitarian Universalist covenant I live into; to uphold the Seven Principles and make the world a little bit better, one step at a time. That's a call I can show up for and answer in good faith..."

Reverend Sims brings a unique personality to Restoration. He is younger, enjoys humor, and speaks openly about Christian teachings that inform his personal theology. He is also thoughtful, deeply spiritual, scholarly, open-hearted, and is capable of understanding and utilizing a range of theological ideas in his sermon presentation. In short, he ticks all the boxes the Ministerial Search Committee's survey told the committee whom we are seeking. The qualities our congregation most desires include someone with good communication skills, intellectual depth, the ability to deal with conflict, and someone "empathic and caring who loves us." In getting to know Reverend Sims, the Search Committee is convinced that he embodies those attributes.
   With appreciation,
   Tim Styer, Moderator
Sept. 2019

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