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Meet BFUU's New Developmental Minister

Rev. Theresa Novak - Developmental Minister

The Reverend Theresa Novak, who has been BFUU's Developmental Minister since August 15, 2014, graduated from Starr King School of the Ministry in 2007. She was born in a small town in northern California and attended the University of California Berkeley between 1968 and 1974, earning a BA in demography and a MA in sociology. Prior to entering seminary, she worked for the Social Security Administration in Richmond, CA for 25 years, primarily in management positions. She served her ministerial internship at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis, Maryland. From September 2007 to June of 2014 she served as the full time settled minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ogden, Utah. That congregation received national recognition in 2012 as a UUA Breakthrough Congregation.

Theresa and her wife, Anne Spatola, have been together since January 1975, although they were only able to legally marry recently. They have three adult children. Theresa was raised in the Disciples of Christ tradition and describes her religious journey as one that has included Christianity, Atheism, Agnosticism, Humanism, and Mysticism. She has been a life-long social activist and sees great value in many different theological orientations.

“The core of what I had come to believe is that life is precious and, amazingly, that “God loves us” in a deep and lasting way. By God, I mean the connection, the life force that is behind what we mean when we say that we respect the interdependent web of all existence. Affirming the inherent worth and dignity of all is just another way of saying all are worthy, all are precious, God loves us. All of us. Not just some. All of us. It doesn’t matter who we are or what we do. It doesn’t matter what we believe about God or whether we believe in God at all.

All of us. Despite the cracks, the imperfections, - and sometimes because of them - we are all beautiful - we are all worthy of love.

We find religion in the sometimes brief glimpses of recognition, of seeing the connections, of feeling like the path we are taking is the right one. We work for justice, for a better world. It isn’t about great flashes of wisdom, about burning bushes telling us what we had better do. All life, God if you will, calls to all of us all the time really. It calls to us when we hold each other in friendship or in moments of terror, when we weep together with joy or with grief, when we make even a small connection with another human being - just making eye contact with a stranger – pausing to listen to water move against the rocks in a flowing mountain stream. Such moments give us hope, they give us courage, and they remind us that we are human and alive. They weave our lives with other lives, making a tapestry of possibility. True connection is a state of Grace that both beckons us and welcomes us home."

Theresa is also a poet and an active blogger. You can read her blog at

See our monthly newsletter, The Communicator, here. (PDF file)

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