August Volunteer of the Month – Veronika Martin

Veronika Martin grew up in a non-religious household in Germany, which was not unusual.  When her family moved to the US in 1976, she was somewhat surprised that people were always asking her to come to church with them.  Over time her response became that she was a universalist with a small “u” as most spiritual practices “were a valid path to the same end”.  When she actually looked into Universalism and Universalist National Memorial Church in DC she was somewhat shocked to find it was Christian which did not fit her at all. 

In 2005 (I may have the dates messed up here) she found us and loved the community and Liz’s sermons.  Community became even more important after the death of her father in 2010.  We were there and supportive when she needed us.  In response, Veronika has given back in many ways.  She was instrumental in working with UUCSS’ LGBTQA committee on marriage equality, a victory that culminated in 2013.  By 2018, she and Elise Turner noticed that we had let our Welcoming Congregation work lie fallow and had not updated our thinking for the evolving world of gender identity nor had we responded to the rank discrimination against transsexuals.  Between the two of them they started the Rainbow Alliance that has enriched us in understanding.  Veronika has also been a member of the Worship Committee and a Worship Associate which fits with her love for quality worship, particularly in support of queer equality services.

One of the things that Veronika loves about the Rainbow Alliance is that from the beginnings it spanned age groups from teens to senior citizens and everyone in between.  The diversity of perspective has made the experience rich and fulfilling.   This fits in an especially important way for Veronika because UUCSS has been her only family.  She is grateful for the love, support, and spiritual growth she’s found here.   She has contributed immeasurably to our community and we’ll miss her.