While on business in Portland, Oregon, I had the privilege of visiting with the Rev. Dr. Marilyn Sewell, Minister Emerita of the First Unitarian Church of Portland.
With my recorder running, Marilyn graciously recounted her spiritual journey, first to Unitarian Universalism and then to the UU ministry. She shared her religious beliefs, which she considers Christian, and her disciplined spiritual practice of prayer and meditation. Her theology is instructive and reflects the freedom we UUs have to navigate our own waters.
Marilyn’s absorbing story includes twists and turns and a few ironies — like atheist Christopher Hitchens protesting that her beliefs don’t qualify as Christian. Or Marilyn, in a pinch, asking Bill Sinkford (UU minister and former president of the Unitarian Universalist Association) to conduct a memorial service — before he became a minster.
One of the pleasures of producing this podcast is listening to each conversation several times as I lightly edit the recording. Each time, I hear more deeply until I feel a visceral connection with the sacred path each person has traveled. Marilyn’s spiritual journey resonates with her deep commitment to humility, openness to possibility, and service.
When you hear it, I hope you, too, will sense the sacred.