Widening the Circle with Vanessa Lowe, Tesha Nesbit and Karl Surkan

Click HERE to access the 10:30am Worship Service, we begin admitting to the Zoom room at 10:20am. Services will be strictly online until further notice.

What must USG do to be a more welcoming and inclusive community? We will hear from three members of our community — Vanessa Lowe, Tesha Nesbit and Karl Surkan– who will talk about oppression and exclusion, and widening our welcoming spirit. We will continue, in the words of the 8th principle, to work “to build a diverse, multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and in our institutions.”

Soaring music for our service will feature Dr. Makeda Hampton, an exceptional soprano, who has performed across the United States and internationally, including with the Metropolitan Opera. Dr. Hampton will be accompanied by Barbara Browne on piano, and will sing an Alleluia by Mozart, and other selections, including the spiritual “I’m On My Way,” adapted by George Gershwin. Click here to learn more about Ms. Hampton.

Click here to view and/or download the 8.5×11″ Order of Service and two-week calendar (two pages).

Vanessa Lowe embraced Unitarian Universalism as her faith of choice after discovering All Souls Church, DC in 2002. After returning to Philadelphia in 2008 she dated USG for 8 years, finally committing to full membership in 2016. She’s an early retiree pursuing passion projects, including co-leading USG’s membership in POWER. She’s eager to connect with others in POWER’s varied justice organizing engagements.The title of her reflection is “You seem kinda UU…”     

Tesha Nesbit has over 20 years’ experience as a Human Resource Development and DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) strategy professional. As an influencer and empowerment enabler, she also is a thought partner on community engagement, belonging and educational equity. Her personal mission is rooted in the Tamari expression “to do everything in life with passion and emotion.” Tesha lives in Pittsburgh and she found and joined USG in 2021. The title of her reflection is “At the Intersection of Identity & Ability.

Karl Surkan has been teaching in the Program in Women’s and Gender Studies at MIT for the past 12 years. His research interests include new media activism and online social movements, intersections of bioethics and science and technology studies, feminist media studies, and more. He and his children have attended USG for years.