Beloved Community of Resistance

Elizabeth DeCoux presents 
a sermon written by 
Rev. Gretchen Haley, 
Senior Minister of Foothills Unitarian, Fort Collins, CO
“Beloved Community of Resistance”
Donna Zimmerman, Worship Leader
Dr. Gary Smart, Accompanist
Diane Freeman, Native American Flute, Special Music

I felt fully aware of who I was…I enjoyed the subtle victory of knowing myself, queer, feminist, mom to two beautiful children, Unitarian Universalist minister to be, and former Catholic… I thought of Audre Lorde’s bittersweet acknowledgment of what it means to live outside of society’s expectations, “We were never meant to survive.” And in that quiet moment, I felt my life was, as much as any march I’d ever gone on, any letter I’d written, any sermon I’d preached – as much as any of these, my life right there and then, was a protest…”

The message focuses on the power of saying “No” and the importance of choosing to say “Yes” as a Beloved Community of Resistance. “…, if we are clear about our “no,” our work must then become articulating the positive vision and positive theology at the heart of our community, and our faith.”

About our Speaker:

Elizabeth DeCoux spent her career practicing law and then teaching law. She is BBUUC’s Animal Chaplain, available to help members and their companion animals with any spiritual and pastoral needs related to animals. Elizabeth dedicated her training as an animal chaplain to the memory of Rev. Liz Teal. In 2019, Elizabeth was selected as the recipient of the Unitarian Universalist Animal Ministry’s Albert Schweitzer Sermon Award for the best sermon regarding our responsibilities to animals. She is active in the UUAM and serves on BBUUC’s Worship Team.

About the Sermon Author:

Rev. Gretchen Haley is the Senior Minister of Foothills Unitarian in Ft. Collins, CO. She is relentlessly curious about most things, especially the big stuff of theology, the beauty of creation, the magic of collaboration, and the great joy of pop culture. She has an audacious ambition for the liberal church, believing in its capacity to transform lives and our world by way of hyper-local relationships and partnerships that inspire the unleashing of courageous love. She’s all in on adrienne maree brown’s emergent strategy, and finds solace in the trails in and around Fort Collins. She and her amazing partner of over 20 years, Carri, have two children, Gracie (16) and Josef (14), who keep her grounded, frustrated, inspired, and humbled, everyday. She adores her dog Charlie, who smiles and gives out hugs, and finds her oversized dog Archer endlessly amusing.

About our Member-Musician:

Diane Freeman is a BBUUC Board Trustee and has been a member since 2017. Born in Ocala and raised in Orlando, she attended the University of Florida and received her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in Counseling Psychology there. She had a private practice in Ocala where she was also the President of Altrusa, a service organization professional women and men. Diane was also a Charter Board Member of the Marion County Literacy Coalition. Before becoming a UU, Diane was raised as a Presbyterian and was active in the church for much of her adult life, serving in many leadership roles. She is an avid nature lover and loves to visit our country’s national Parks. Her favorite is Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska. In addition to playing the Native American flute, she is also a weaver. In early 2022, Diane was designated as legally blind. Ever-adaptable, Diane has embraced the challenges and utilized the tools she has explored to engage and live her best life.