Here at  UUMAN I Started to Grow

My name is Annette I am a member of UUMAN, a professional painter, a  sometimes writer of poetry, and also an Addiction Counselor. About 23 years ago my ten year old son said to me “Mom, don’t you think it’s about time we went to church.”  I didn’t know where that came from, but being a concerned parent, I could not ignore it.

A few years before my world had been turned upside down by divorce and death.  Even with my family and friends nearby, I felt so alone in the world.  So I allowed my son to  lead me here.  I had been raised in the Catholic Church, but knew I never really believed their teachings.  When I sat down at Primrose Cottage and read the Seven Principals, I knew I was home.

I attended services for a month or two and liked what I heard.  Then one day, I was asked to help out with greeting.  I was hooked.  I thought – “they need me, they really need me.”

What I did not realize was how much I needed them.

Being a mother was the catalyst that brought me here, but  as a teenager my son stopped coming to church, and I had also acquired two step teenagers.  All three wanted to be only children and each came with their own set of challenges.  I don’t know how I would have survived those years without UUMAN.  This community was my rock.

Through the nurturing of UUMAN, I learned alot about myself.  My family of origin totally missed the social revolution of the sixties.  Feminism in particular never sunk in.  A girl was supposed to get married, stay home, raise children and live happily ever after.  I wanted five children.  Thank God that did not happen.   Here at  UUMAN, I started to grow.    Over time I joined  a Spiritual Autobiography group, a bible history group, a spirituality workshop, a Women’s Group and served on the board as RE Trustee.  I even went on a N.O.W. bus trip to Washington D.C. in 1992, to demonstrate with our minister and one million other women for CHOICE.  I felt empowered.  I was becoming a stronger person and a feminist.  Ashook reminds me that I came back saying “I’m fierce, I’m feminist, and I’m in your face.”

Public speaking was my greatest fear, and I have overcome that fear in this very room.

About 18 years ago, I wanted to give back and started the painting group, (sometimes called Lushes With Brushes) .  You can see our work around the sanctuary.  Wednesay night is the highlight of my week.  Sharing in the  creative experience of another is a joy, and I have made friendships that will last a lifetime.

My life continues to be enriched by this community.  I came to UUMAN because I was trying to be a good mother and ended up being nurtured myself and nurturing others in return.