Theology

My appreciation of mystery and wonder is not limited. Nor is it how we might expect the world to be. My queer theology helps me question the status quo and examines how the universe is continually undergoing negotiating, change, transformation and dissemination. I am always examining if one way is the only way or is there a different path. My identity as a religious naturalist with transcendental tendencies dominates my spiritual practice as does my theology of beauty. I feel comfortable taking what is valuable from my Christian upbringing and interpreting that for myself and my congregation. My studies of Humanism give me appreciation for its roots and an understanding of its limitations. I honor earth-based traditions.


I am constantly challenging myself to learn more about both history of a place and people to guide my studies. From digging into the Lotus Sutra, or spending more time examining how transcendentalists influenced the Hudson Valley School and the arts, I love exploring connections that benefit me and my congregants. Theological studies assist in pastoral care, worship and at times of great change. It is important to me to continue my studies around race, marginalization, anti-oppression, gender and family.


Both my congregational experience, being a Unitarian Universalist for over 20 years in a Humanist congregation, work as a chaplain, my Christian upbringing and my decades of religious education in multi-faith settings gives me an ease operating within numerous theologies. I also draw on extensive religious education training from my childhood to the present to nurture people in developing their own theology and growth.

denise cawley headshot2