Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Unitarian Universalist Justine Sullivan wants everyone to get along

“Our congregation’s strength lies in its ability to welcome everyone as they are.”

Justine Sullivan
Justine Sullivan

First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego

Contact: Hillcrest Campus—4190 Front St., San Diego; South Bay Campus—970 Broadway, Ste. 104, Chula Vista www.firstuusandiego.org

Membership: 500

Lead Minister: Justine Sullivan

Age: 61

Born: Boston, MA 

Formation: Boston University; Simmons College-School for Social Work, Louisville, KY; Meadville Lombard Theological School, Chicago

Years Ordained: 7

Sponsored
Sponsored


San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to preach?

First Minister Justine Sullivan: Love one another. How are we getting along together? As far as we know this life is all we have. So how we are working together is everything—and that includes how we engage with the world. We’ve been given this opportunity to live in this place, so we should make the most of trying to live in it together in a loving way. Like most Universal Unitarian ministers, I don’t have a single sacred text I work from for my sermons. I’m not averse to speak from the Bible but it’s usually paired with something else, such as a Mary Oliver poem. There’s a beautiful poem by a Palestinian poet, Naomi Shihab Nye, called “Gate A-4.” It tells the story of a Palestinian woman who thinks her flight has been canceled but doesn’t understand enough English to know that it’s only been delayed. Nye comes along to help translate for her, and the poem is about how they interact with each other and other travelers at the gate. The poem shows the changes in feeling that occur through this interaction, the feelings others might have for this woman. The poem speaks to a larger issue: how we are going to get along together, love one another? That’s what we can do in this world—make a difference in how we behave with one another, learn to be kind and respectful. These same values are lifted up in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles, of course, but I use a different way into the question.

Place

First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego

4190 Front Street, San Diego


SDR: What’s the mission of your church?

PS: To create community to help heal the world. That’s the mission of all worshipping communities, of course, to help heal the world…from humanity’s ability to be very cruel to one another. Our congregation’s strength lies in its ability to welcome everyone as they are. The Unitarian Universalists were among the first to welcome members of the LGBTQ community and also those with HIV.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

FMS: I don’t believe in a traditional heaven. In the Harry Potter series, there’s this “Room of Requirement.” Whatever you need, whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find in this room. I imagine life after death to be something like that. Perhaps after death, the moment we leave our bodies we have a sense of completion. But I don’t dwell on that question. We’re given this life to live and we need to make heaven on earth. At the same time, I think there is peace after we die, but I don’t picture it to be people gathering on clouds. As for any sense of judgment after death, the universalism of Unitarian Universalism is very important. It came out of the Christian tradition. We believe a loving God would not condemn us to damnation, so I don’t believe in eternal punishment... I know it’s a comfort for some people to think they’ll go to something better if they’re good and something worse if they’re bad. But I don’t take comfort with that idea…. I struggle with what happens to evildoers, but I’m going to focus on what we can do with the time we have now.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Surfaris spawn takes Tourmaliners to Bay Park residency

Guitarist Deven Berryhill says the band has surf music in its DNA
Justine Sullivan
Justine Sullivan

First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego

Contact: Hillcrest Campus—4190 Front St., San Diego; South Bay Campus—970 Broadway, Ste. 104, Chula Vista www.firstuusandiego.org

Membership: 500

Lead Minister: Justine Sullivan

Age: 61

Born: Boston, MA 

Formation: Boston University; Simmons College-School for Social Work, Louisville, KY; Meadville Lombard Theological School, Chicago

Years Ordained: 7

Sponsored
Sponsored


San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to preach?

First Minister Justine Sullivan: Love one another. How are we getting along together? As far as we know this life is all we have. So how we are working together is everything—and that includes how we engage with the world. We’ve been given this opportunity to live in this place, so we should make the most of trying to live in it together in a loving way. Like most Universal Unitarian ministers, I don’t have a single sacred text I work from for my sermons. I’m not averse to speak from the Bible but it’s usually paired with something else, such as a Mary Oliver poem. There’s a beautiful poem by a Palestinian poet, Naomi Shihab Nye, called “Gate A-4.” It tells the story of a Palestinian woman who thinks her flight has been canceled but doesn’t understand enough English to know that it’s only been delayed. Nye comes along to help translate for her, and the poem is about how they interact with each other and other travelers at the gate. The poem shows the changes in feeling that occur through this interaction, the feelings others might have for this woman. The poem speaks to a larger issue: how we are going to get along together, love one another? That’s what we can do in this world—make a difference in how we behave with one another, learn to be kind and respectful. These same values are lifted up in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles, of course, but I use a different way into the question.

Place

First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego

4190 Front Street, San Diego


SDR: What’s the mission of your church?

PS: To create community to help heal the world. That’s the mission of all worshipping communities, of course, to help heal the world…from humanity’s ability to be very cruel to one another. Our congregation’s strength lies in its ability to welcome everyone as they are. The Unitarian Universalists were among the first to welcome members of the LGBTQ community and also those with HIV.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

FMS: I don’t believe in a traditional heaven. In the Harry Potter series, there’s this “Room of Requirement.” Whatever you need, whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find in this room. I imagine life after death to be something like that. Perhaps after death, the moment we leave our bodies we have a sense of completion. But I don’t dwell on that question. We’re given this life to live and we need to make heaven on earth. At the same time, I think there is peace after we die, but I don’t picture it to be people gathering on clouds. As for any sense of judgment after death, the universalism of Unitarian Universalism is very important. It came out of the Christian tradition. We believe a loving God would not condemn us to damnation, so I don’t believe in eternal punishment... I know it’s a comfort for some people to think they’ll go to something better if they’re good and something worse if they’re bad. But I don’t take comfort with that idea…. I struggle with what happens to evildoers, but I’m going to focus on what we can do with the time we have now.

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

8 Reasons To Get Your Children A Trampoline

Next Article

Missiongathering San Diego seeks to move away from Christian Nationalism

“God’s love is more radical, inclusive, and far-reaching than we are comfortable with.”
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.