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, Minister

Reverend Sims, who joined us on August 6, 2018, is a stargazing-progressive-UU Christian, a native of Texas, a graduate of the College of William and Mary and Princeton Theological Seminary, and a suffering Houston Texans fan. Prior to joining the UUs of Mt. Airy (aka “Restoration”, he worked as a psychiatric chaplain and minister in the Washington, DC area, and he served as middle school basketball coach and English teacher for students at a small independent school in New Haven, Connecticut (where he lived in an abandoned convent and frequently headed into New York City to be with his beloved, KP).

He discovered and "fell in love" with Unitarian Universalism following an internship in seminary at the Unitarian Society of Germantown, just down the road. At USG, Reverend Sims focused on social justice ministry as an outlet for his desire to be of service and a place for his own work in rebuilding a progressive theology that centered racial justice, reconciliation, and restoration.

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..." As a student of Brene Brown, Resmaa Menakem, Robert Renix, and Paul Tillich, Reverend Sims brings a commitment to spiritual growth, community health, and grounding ritual to Mt. Airy, focusing on conflict management, authentic storytelling, and experiential worship.

Rev. Sims lives in East Mt. Airy with his partner, KP. He can be seen running up and down Gorgas Ln, biking through the neighborhood, and working to make a difference in our city. He encourages everyone to find a spiritual home, even if it’s not with UU Mt. Airy, and he would love to chat with you about where you might find a good “fit”. Please reach out to him via

And the Latest News: Rev. McKinley
is FINALLY our Settled Minister!!!

2022-04-30: Finally, finally, after two years of COVID which kept us out of the sanctuary, we have installed our wonderful "new" minister, the Reverend McKinley L Sims! The ceremony, attended by distinguished visiting clergy, and his personal and congregational family was inspirational, and the reception following on our lawn and under a huge tent, a fitting finish on such a beautiful day.

Pictured on the left is Reverend McKinley kneeling for the Reverend Seth Carrier Ladd to lead the traditional "Laying on of Hands". On the right, is the Reverend Abbey Tennis offering the "Right Hand of Fellowship".

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