Staff Profile

Rev. Dianne Daniels

Intern Minister

USH Intern Minister, January 2020 – December 2021, half-time


I’m writing this letter to introduce myself to all of you and to give you some additional information on who I am. I look forward to working with and getting to know all of you.

Unitarian Universalism came into my life after my family and I left the denomination that my husband had grown up in – the Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas. There were some wonderful people and families there, but one too many experiences with “Do as I say, not as I do” expressions of authority from the leadership was enough for us. My family was “unchurched” for a couple of years until an elder from our community invited us to a Kwanzaa ceremony at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Norwich, CT. The people were so warm and welcoming, and even better, they were not opposed to answering questions about the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church, the faith, or their part in it. Our second experience was being invited to a Community Meal. The doors of the church were thrown open and whoever was outside was brought in and fed. Good, stick-to-the-ribs kind of food, nothing fancy, and the church members were sprinkled throughout the hall, sitting with the community residents who attended. It didn’t matter where in the community they had come from – parents with children of varying ages, elders and young adults – they were all welcomed. They simply showed up, got fed, and experienced the warmth of community UU-style.

20 years later, after living and loving my life as a UU, I began to feel a stronger call toward ministry. I’d felt it before, but not as strongly, and I was in a position in my personal and professional life to answer the call. The ministers who had served our UU Church of Norwich had left an impression on me. The ones I resonated with the most and felt the most connection to had all attended the Starr King School for the Ministry. That knowledge helped me make up my mind – I was going to pursue Ministry, and I was going to do it at Starr King through their low-residency distance program, allowing me to remain at home and still pursue my Master of Divinity degree.
Now, I want to bring my talents as a public speaker, coach and consultant to USH and help to build an even stronger institution. I want to pay back some of what Unitarian Universalism has given me by helping others to find their way to the faith, and to learn about the rich history and foundational principles that guide other UUs. I want to help seekers find a place within the community that nourishes you right where you are, just who you are, and encourages you to stretch and grow into your best selves.
I want to be a part of an organization that opened its arms to welcome a branch of Christopher Penczak’s Temple of Witchcraft to hold events in your space – because there just aren’t enough organizations that feel comfortable doing that, and USH didn’t just talk about it, you DID it!
I hope this letter gives you a little more insight into who I am and conveys some part of my enthusiasm at the opportunity to work with and for the congregation over the next couple of years. I look forward to being a part of the USH family.
Peace and Blessed Be!
Dianne M. Daniels

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