3rd Sunday Service on Healing-Accountability

Sunday Worship, May 21, 2023, 10:30am —  online (video)

(See at bottom below here, for bios — and our Order of Service)


This Sunday, we gather to recognize and learn — from our seven months of time together (as part of the Restorative Congregations Process work at UUCT).

As you know — this process has involved…

  • Fifteen of your leaders engaging in small group ministry, The Spirituality of Conflict — committed to a personal exploration of conflict in our lives
  • Twenty-three of your contributions
  • One-to-one dialogues with twelve of your leaders — and some of your longest members
  • Collegial conversations — between Rev. Bethany and I [sic] with four of your former ministers
  • A Restorative Approaches to Conflict workshop — attended by twenty eight of you
  • A Ministerial Misconduct Workshop led by Rev. Bethany — attended by eighteen people
  • Two Sunday Services dedicated to this process…
  • Leadership and engagement — from your
    • Destructive Behavior Response Team (DBRT),
    • staff,
    • and Board


About this Sunday Service: A Request for Your Preparation…

  • This Sunday, we close our work together — with a third Sunday service on “Healing-Accountability” — dedicated to the themes and lessons from our work.
    • The service is led by
      • your Destructive Behavior Response Team (DBRT),
      • Rev. Bethany
      • myself [ie. Rev. Sam]
      • and Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh (special guest and UUA staff member)
  • This Sunday service is unique.
    • We will be honoring our work together so far — while also practicing the very thing this work is about:..
      • recognizing what needs healing,
      • paying attention to what has been hurt — in ourselves and others,
      • and seeking ways towards repair.
  • During the service,
    • We will be sharing the story — of one incident of ministerial misconduct (see PDF page #75) in your congregation — that occurred in 1993.
    • We will reflect on some of the details of that story — and its impact on your congregation — then and now.
    • You will learn — that one impact of this misconduct experience — was a loss of connection, trust, and relationship with the UUA.
      • We will explore
        • what it means for that loss to be recognized
        • and for steps towards reconnection
        • and the rebuilding of trust to be made together.


In preparation for this Sunday, we have two requests.

    • We recommend reading page #69 of your ministerial history document (ie, PDF page #75)
    • We also highly recommend the video “What is Accountability?” — from the Barnard Center for Research on Women.
      • This video was an inspiring resource
        • during our Spirituality of Conflict small group ministry.
      • We trust it might support you as well
        • in preparing for our work together this Sunday.


In a world where there is so much harm,

    • it is our responsibility to become a people
      • who face what hurts together
      • and build the skills to bring more healing and repair.
    • You are doing it!
    • We celebrate the work you have done
      • and the work you are leading in our denomination.


With care,

~ Rev. Sam (and Rev. Bethany)


  • Rev. Dr. Sam is a conflict engagement coach and restorative practitioner in private, community, and congregational practice.
    • She works with the UUA part time as a staff member with the Hope for Us Conflict Engagement Team.
  • Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh is our primary contact on the Unitarian Universalist Association Pacific Western Regional Staff.
    • She was ordained to the ministry almost exactly 18 years ago (tomorrow is her ordination anniversary!)
    • After serving as a parish minister and a curriculum developer (working on Coming-of-Age, Our Whole Lives, and Tapestry of Faith) Sarah began working with the PWR in 2016 at the same time that Rev. Diane Dowgiert’s ministry came to a close at UUCT.
    • Sarah has accompanied us through a lot of transition, and a worldwide pandemic.
    • In addition to helping congregations deal with whatever comes their way, Sarah specializes in…
      • engaging conflict,
      • fostering congregational healing from misconduct and destructive behavior, and
      • resourcing congregations for anti-racist multicultural transformation.
    • She’s a life-long UU who’s lived all over the country, so she especially appreciates the beauty and climate of San Diego where she lives with her husband (also a UU minister), their 5th grader, and their rescue dog.

Our Order of Service:

  • Welcome
    • Rev. Bethany Russell-Lowe
  • Prelude
    • Brian Moon
  • Call to Worship
    • Rev. Bethany Russell-Lowe
  • Chalice Lighting
    • Watercolor Golightly
  • Hymn (Olam Chesed Yibaneh)
    • Brian Moon
  • Story
    • DBRT
    • Jamili Omar
  • Homilette
    • Rev. Samantha Wilson
  • Centering
    • Rev. Samantha Wilson
  • Offering = Share the Plate, Sister Jose
    • Watercolor Golightly
  • Offertory
    • Brian Moon & Desert Chorale
  • Homilette
    • Rev. Bethany Russell-Lowe
  • Anthem
    • Desert Chorale
  • Homilette
    • Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh
  • Hymn #1008
    • Brian Moon
  • Closing Words
    • Rev. Bethany Russell-Lowe
  • Chalice Extinguishing
    • Watercolor Golightly
  • Postlude
    • Brian Moon


  • Attributions:
  • Prelude
    • “Brand New Day” by Joshua Radin
  • Chalice Lighting
    • “Love Can Transform the World” by Rev. Maureen Killoran
  • Hymn
    • “Olam Chesed Yibaneh” by Rabbi Menachem Creditor
  • Offertory
    • “Beloved Community” by Brian Moon
  • Anthem
    • “What Wondrous Love” #18 in Singing the Living Tradition
  • Hymn #1008
    • “When Our Heart is in a Holy Place” #1008 in Singing the Journey
  • Chalice Extinguishing
    • “The Pathway to Healing” by Roddy Bell-Shelton Biggs
  • Postlude
    • “Olam Chesed Yibaneh” by Rabbi Menachem Creditor