Dina Raley never quite fit in the Catholic church of her upbringing. It had always seemed forced, superficial, and unwelcoming. Most other churches seemed no different and so there was no attraction to religion. What changed was a realization that a church could provide community and be an outlet for social justice activism. She then did what any logical person would do and Googled “liberal church”. Careful review of the search results showed a strong correlation to Unitarian-Universalism. She and her husband Todd first fetched up at Paint Branch UUC but found it a little small with few outlets for activism. Shopping around, UUCSS seemed more of what they were looking for in a welcoming, authentic, and inclusive community.
Like so many others, Dina signed the book after attending her first Women’s Retreat and has not looked back. Things she likes about UUCSS include the Coming of Age and YRUU services, the auction, and of course the Women’s retreat. She recently stepped down as our Membership Committee chair, giving new members the same warm welcome that she received. For her, UUCSS has been a place where she could feel free and held, to try things, make mistakes, and learn to become a better person – a goal we all can share. When not on Zoom meetings, Dina likes to travel, golf, and spend time with her Covid-cats, Pierogi and Cannoli.