2019 Worship Themes

We have invited guest ministers to bring you a variety of worship experiences as each reflects on our SUUSI theme, Sacred Spaces. We worship together Monday-Friday, in the morning from 9-9:45 and in the evening from 7-7:45.

Evening worship traditions include an Earth-centered, outdoor worship service on Friday evening, and our Thursday evening transitions worship service that honors births, deaths, and the bridging of teens to young adulthood. And don’t forget our must-not-miss Teen-led service Wednesday evening!


Morning: A Serious House

What makes a church a sacred space? What does reverence have to do with it? Do either of these notions matter in an essentially secular culture? Can poetry or philosophy be any help to us in our contemporary dilemmas?

Rev. Dr. Kendyl Gibbons is the Senior Minister of All Souls UU Church in Kansas City. She is a lifelong UU Humanist, former president of the UU Ministers Association and Dean of the Humanist Institute, author of hymn texts, and the mentor of generations of student ministers.

Evening: Creating Sanctuary

How can we create a worry free, grounded, and renewing space for ourselves in a world that often feels like anything but? Based on a book by Terry Hershey called “Sanctuary: Creating a Space for Grace in Your Life.”

Rev. Kathy Tew Rickey serves our faith as the settled minister at the UU Congregation of Ormond Beach, Florida. She shares her home with her little dog, Daisy. She is the co-chair of F.A.I.T.H., a direct action community organization in Daytona Beach, is active in Toastmasters, and enjoys kayaking, golfing, travel, and dining with friends.


Morning: Sacred – Outside and In

A sacred place is almost always a physical location – a cathedral built by human hands or by the forces of nature. What about the sacred space we all own, within our own minds and souls?

The Rev. Lori Hlaban currently serves as the Minister of the UU Fellowship of Beaufort, South Carolina. She is a native Midwesterner,
and partnered with Tom Hlaban, with whom she raised three now-adult children. Formerly a regular attendee of Midwest UU Summer Assembly (MUUSA), this is her third year at SUUSI.

Evening: Singing In Our Sacred Space

The ways we create sacred space are many and varied, but none is so beautiful or powerful as many voices raised in song, singing the sacred in. We will hear of the power of these musical sacred spaces and sing our own sacred space in together.

Rev. Kimberley Debus works as a community minister based in New York’s Capital Region, inspiring an artful and art-filled faith. She consults with congregations and religious professionals and provides sabbatical ministry support throughout the denomination. She has previously served congregations on the North Fork of Long Island and Key West. At SUUSI, Kimberley is a worship coordinator and a member of the Pair-A-Dice staff. 


Morning: Waking Our Senses to the Missives of I Am

We eat the holy with our red tongues, swap sparks with the holy through our bare and tender feet, invite the holy to dance on our delicate retinas, and scoop up the vibrations of the holy’s peals and rumbles made by animal, mineral, vegetable, and other. All of this we can do passively, without so much as a whiff of awareness. But how alive we know ourselves to be when we notice, name, and relish in the sacred spaces we co-create with the divine!

Teresa Honey Youngblood is a credentialed religious educator, a hospital chaplain, author of the book Spirited Homeschooling, and a Family Ministry Coordinator for Soul Matters. She feels most like herself when she’s writing with smooth, blue pens; listening for birdsongs in the wilds of the Ozark mountains; reading really good books aloud to children and youth; baking biscuits; and tending the worms in her front yard herb and veggie garden.

Evening: SUUSI Teen-Led Worship

All are welcome for our annual Teen-led service, dreamed, created, and offered to our beloved SUUSI community in their own unique words, ways, and wisdom. Ever new and rich with myriad perspectives, this service is a favorite every time!



Morning: Ancestral Roots

Let us draw healing and strength from our ancestral spaces (whether we claim them through DNA, choice, or fortunate circumstance).

The Rev. Chip Roush serves the First Unitarian Church of South Bend, Indiana. This is his ninth SUUSI. Chip claims Irish and German heritage; his theological roots go through Thandeka and Richard Alpert. 

Evening: Of Portals, Pathways, and Passages A Transformations Service

Each SUUSI, we gather to celebrate the arrival of new lives among us, honor the departures of beloveds from us, and strengthen the bridges crossed in the time between. Join us for this music-and-message service to consider our sacred journeys here to there.

The Rev. Amy Carol Webb is the minister to the River of Grass Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Davie, Florida. Amy first came to SUUSI as a concert performer in 1999 with her family and never looked back. Fourteen CDs, seminary, two grown sons and one grandchild later, she and Brooke return for their 20th SUUSI. Amy is an author, teacher, and carpenter, who builds bookcases not quite as fast as her household acquires books.


Friday Morning: Taking It With You

Our gathered SUUSI community transforms a college campus into a sacred space on holy ground. In our final full day, it’s time to begin to turn our thoughts homeward. How can we take SUUSI home with us?

The Rev. Dave Dunn is the minister of the UU Metro Atlanta North Congregation in Roswell, Georgia. Although it is a small instrument, he claims to have lost a large portion of his college GPA in a harmonica.

Evening: Come Into The Circle

Come into the circle of sacred space, the circle of love and justice, the circle where you belong. Our annual earth-relating service invites you to nurture, celebrate and honor the relationships you have with the land and people around you. We will create a sacred container and generate energy. Bring that energy back with you to the sacred places you call home.

The Rev. Amy Beltaine is a traveling spiritual director providing Sunday services, retreats, and spiritual mentoring. A graduate of Meadville Lombard Theological School, Amy is on the steering committee of the UU Spiritual Directors’ network. Amy is a nearly life-long earth honoring process panentheist, and recent President of the Covenant of UU Pagans (CUUPS). Amy aspires to become a Love-Ninja.

Mary Ann Somervill has followed a Pagan path for over 25 years. She is one of the founding members of the Blue Ridge Spirit CUUPS chapter  at the Asheville UU Congregation. Over the years she has led many rituals at SUUSI and SWIM.