This month I will be concluding my series on folks that I think exemplify our Vision at MSUS. For me, it has been a lovely exercise in thinking about all the ways I see great things happening, and I hope it has given you a moment of reflection as well.
For March, I would like to hold up Michele Wallace as someone who embodies the entire Vision as an integral part of her life.
Michele is a life-long UU. She has grown up with the philosophy of the inherent worth and dignity of all, the inter-connectiveness of all things, and standing on the side of love long before it was a slogan. It is a way of life for her. When I met her, I was impressed at her outspokenness, and the way she did not seem to be afraid to not only live her principles, but to vocalize them as well. She does this so naturally, but I know from personal experience that speaking out is not always easy. Regardless of the ease (or difficulty), she has an excitement in her voice when she speaks of change happening in the world, and I know she has been active in supporting that change. She is a "do-er."
An Open, Inspired, Committed Seeker? Very much so! Michele is very welcoming and willing to engage in conversation. She loves to read, and enjoys gaining different perspectives of the world‒ she is inspired by many sources of wisdom. As I said above, Michele is a do-er, and is a committed agent of compassion, service, justice and joy. She shares some of her knowledge with the youth in our church; she has been involved with Religious Education for children for years, both as the Chair of the RE committee, and as a teacher. She has been involved in many social action activities she believes in, both through the church and in the larger world, often as a leader. She has been the president at MSUS. She is active in the greater denomination and has attended numerous General Assemblies, sometimes serving as a delegate for our church.
And Michele finds joy in many aspects of her life. People are important to her, especially family and friends, and she takes pains to make room for them in her life. I have seen Michele in her garden, and I know she finds great joy there, too, digging in the dirt and connecting with the world in a different way.
Michele was instrumental in constructing our new vision statement, and she deliberately set the wording up so that the opening sentence words would be easy for people to remember - Open, Inspired, Dedicated Seekers. She is aware that if you can't remember what it is, it probably won't be that important in your life. I can tell by her actions that it is indeed important to her, and it inspires me.