Cynthia Curry-Daniel began attending UUCSS in the fall of 2013. A local sisterfriend who also grew up in the black church tradition (and is an ordained minister) knew how deeply Cynthia desired a way to tend to her spiritual needs. Her friend suggested that Unitarian Universalism, which Cynthia knew almost nothing about at the time, might be a good fit for her and her daughter, Ziona. At church she has taught a baby-wearing class, planned the Women’s Retreat for three years, and served on the Nominating Committee for two years. She has also contributed by hosting a table at the Fellowship Dinner and volunteering for childcare in the nursery. “I get a lot out of church so it makes sense to me that I find ways to give back. And I’ve always felt like constructive criticism and being willing to work toward solutions go hand-in-hand. So it’s easier for me to ‘call in’ the imperfections in my church when I feel like I’m paying my dues by volunteering.” It’s important to Cynthia that she model for her daughter that even if you don’t have money to give to causes that you care about, you can usually find time to donate your talents.
She has lots of favorite memories of UUCSS, many of them involving Reverend Leon, including his thoughtful, healing, and encouraging words. She also has enjoyed the Coming of Age services and Catoctin retreats she has attended. Given what’s happening in the UUA, she’s been thinking lately about Kimberly Williams Crenshaw’s work. She keeps remembering Crenshaw’s quote, “It’s not about supplication, it’s about power. It’s not about asking, it’s about demanding. It’s not about convincing those who are currently in power, it’s about changing the very face of power itself.”
To others who are considering volunteering, she advises, “If other life obligations prevent you from doing as much as you’d like, be patient and remember the seasonality of life. Opportunities will arise that match your interests, skills and schedule. Until that happens, know that just showing up and connecting with others is enough.”