A tender message from Ryan Hurd, Director of Spiritual Development

February 10, 2022

Dear friends, 

After a lot of thought and consideration, I have told Rev. Kent Matthies that this is my last year as Director of Spiritual Development at USG. He and Andrea Barsevick, as President of the Board, have accepted my resignation. I intend to finish the program year that ends in June and make room for new leadership.   

Serving a congregation is like being part of a family. Words really fail to express my gratitude for the opportunity to work as your DSD for the past four years. It has also been an honor to hold this congregation through the most challenging days of the pandemic. 

As Rev. Kent has often said, “COVID reveals.” This pandemic era and the social upheaval that has come with it has crystallized for me the truth that my family is ready for a fundamental change in the way we live. At the same time, exciting new opportunities are opening up for me in the field of graduate education and dream research, which I consider my core ministry.

I will soon be joining the faculty at University for Peace, a graduate school based in San José, Costa Rica, that was chartered by the United Nations to provide diplomatic and conflict resolution training to the international affairs community. I will be part of a new program, “Indigenous Science and Peace Studies,” teaching dreaming and intuitive ways of knowing as pathways to self-knowledge, decolonization, and community revival. My family won’t be moving to Costa Rica, but we will be visiting seasonally and otherwise practicing new ways of living that are closer to extended family and closer to the earth.  

In the months ahead, I look forward to being back in person with you, sharing time in worship, in circle, and even around a campfire. Because, as USG Sexton Mike Rogers likes to remind me, I am a hippie. 

Thank you for growing with me as we have worshipped, learned, and played together. I have abiding faith that USG is finding its way forward as the congregation reinvents what it means to create and maintain Beloved Community in the 21st century.

In faith, and with a tender heart,

Ryan Hurd

Director of Spiritual Development
Unitarian Society of Germantown