SUUF AND ME / US

Many of us who call ourselves Unitarian Universalists were not born and raised in this faith tradition. The sharing of our personal stories helps us connect with each other in a deep and personal way.

Rae and Ronald Steinke
Name: Ronald ( Ron ) Steinke

Place of Birth: Cedar Rapids, Nebraska ( at home)

When did you come to the Verde Valley and why?

Left Southern California traffic and smog to Village of Oak Creek/ Sedona August 2003. Came for the Red Rock formations, hiking and outdoor activities, 4 seasons (without moving snow) and a days’ drive to Colorado and California.

What is your religious background?

Methodist , college was as a pre theological student with majors in Philosophy/Religion and Psychology. Went to seminary at Garrett Biblical Institute. As undergrad and seminarian served as Supply Pastor of Methodist churches for five years in Nebraska and Illinois.

Personally could not accept the trinity, Methodist creeds and church doctrine and left the ministry. Began to attend Unitarian church in Denver during 1972.

Lifes’ work was Psychology as Counselor, College and University Teacher.

Consultant/ trainer and Community college VP and Dean.

What brought you to SUUF?

Desired to associate with like minded people where both my philosophical and political values would be respected.

How does SUUF fit into your spiritual journey?

SUUF makes it possible for me to retain my ideas, values, and beliefs as an agnostic, a humanist, an existentialist, a phenomenologist , and scientific pragmatist. The culture and climate of SUUF makes it possible to challenge my beliefs and thinking in a non threatening environment.


Name: Rae Steinke

Place of birth: Benton Harbor, Michigan

When did you come to the Verde Valley and why?

We moved here 15 years ago to escape the smog and traffic of Southern California.

What is your religious background?

My parents were poor Jewish farmers in Michigan and could not afford to buy seats in the temple. Therefore, my knowledge about my Jewish heritage was very limited. We were the only Jewish family in a small town where my sister and I were the objects of open prejudice. This caused me to be turned off about religion. I taught my children to be caring and tolerant of all people.

What brought you to SUUF?

I started going to UU in my late 30’s and enjoyed the people I met and the liberal and loving life they led. This seems to also be true here in Sedona.

How does SUUF fit into your spiritual journey?

When we moved to Sedona we knew no one.We started going to SUUF to meet liberal and like minded people.

I like to think of my journey as one with mother nature—- on a journey of loving, caring, giving and being respectful of all good people and the beauty that abounds around me.