Religious Exploration

Welcome to Mallory Hicks

I’m so excited to be filling the role of Religious Exploration Coordinator (REC). I grew up in a family of UUs, I’m a 3rd generation which is rarer on the west coast where I was raised than it is here. I always say I was raised by UUs, as most of my childhood wasn’t spent in church weekly; but the 7 principles were our core.

My grandparents and extended family have always been incredibly active in the church. My husband Lewis , as many of you know, is active duty in the USN (retiring next year yay!) and we have 3 kids, Atticus (11) Remington (9 on Halloween) and Oliver (3) When in Keene, we landed we knew that we wanted to get involved with the church right away, having 3 kids that needed a good steady community. We participated in the outdoor RE gatherings over the winter and into spring and summer. They were so important to us and beneficial to our children.

I really feel we’ve found a home, after so many years of moving from town to town, state to state, and twice across the country with littles in tow. the RE program I cannot wait to see how grows and how as a community and congregation we can come together to provide a safe and exciting place for all of our children to explore their world and learn our principles.

Mallory Hicks

Greetings from RE!

The shortest and sweetest month is upon us! That buffer month between winter and spring. Our theme for February is love. How fitting, ours is a faith based in love. Don’t forget as we get closer to the shift of seasons to keep that center we spent January finding. Don’t lose it!

The Jewish New Year Tu Bishvat is on the 5th I’ll be putting together a packet craft for all the kids to take home and do. Come to service to grab your bag or get ahold of me to set up a time for pick up.

With our Rev. Michael on sabbatical, we will all need to be fluid and flexible, the RE happenings are our goals for the month and if things need to shift or change I will give you as much notice as possible. Thank you so much for your support and understanding

RE Happenings & News

Sunday February 5th – In Sanctuary *Come to pick up your craft bags for Tu Bishvat!

Saturday February 11th – Outdoor meetup at church making bird feeders

Sunday February 12th – BLOCKS Sunday! Come build, everyone will need to wear a mask, window and door open. Block Sunday will begin in the block room upstairs at 10:00.

Sunday February 19th – In Sanctuary for service

Sunday February 26th – We will have RE offerings today in the RE classroom.

Take a look at our bulletin board, we have a signup sheet if you’d like to collaborate, teach, be involved in the stories for services, join the committee etc.

You can email me at or call/text (540)849-7550 Mallory

UU History – Explore More!

During the August 9, 2021 worship service, I shared the episode in UU History that is often called “the Empowerment Controversy.” I learned about this period, roughly 1967-1970, during the online Unitarian Universalist History course I took this summer. Here is a list of resources I used while preparing this service. When available, links to purchase through inSpirit, the UUA’s bookstore, are provided. Starred works are required texts for the course and are easy to read, informative and highly recommended.

** Morrison-Reed, Mark. Darkening the Doorways: Black Trailblazers and Missed Opportunities in Unitarian Universalism. Skinner House Books, 2011.

Morrison-Reed, Mark and Jacqui James, editors. Been in the Storm So Long. Skinner House Books, 1991.

Carpenter, Victor H. Long Challenge: The Empowerment Controversy (1967-1977). Meadville Lombard Theological School Press, 2003.

Morrison-Reed, Mark. Black Pioneers in a White Congregation. 3rd ed., Skinner House Books, 1994.

Ross, Warren R. The Premise and The Promise: The Story of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Skinner House Books, 2001.

** Peterson, Polly. Stirring the Nation’s Heart: Eighteen Stories of Prophetic Unitarians and Universalists of the Nineteenth Century. Unitarian Universalist Association, 2010.

** Peterson, Polly and Gail Forsyth-Vail. Missionaries, Builders, and Pathfinders: Unitarian and Universalist Stories from the Midwest, West, and South, 1830-1930. Unitarian Universalist Association, 2014.

As I mentioned in my reflection, to me an essential take-away about the Empowerment Controversy is that Unitarian Universalists keep trying to improve. Tangible proof is the recently released volume (also available in its entirety online) Widening the Circle of Concern: Report of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change. Unitarian Universalist Association, 2020.  From the back cover: This report “represents the culmination of the Commission’s work analyzing structural and systemic racism and white supremacy culture within Unitarian Universalism and makes recommendations to advance long-term cultural and institutional change that redeems the essential promise and ideals of Unitarian Universalism.”

Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU)

Click the link above to go to the home page for BLUU, an organization “committed to: expanding the power and capacity of Black UUs within our faith; providing support, information & resources for Black Unitarian Universalists; justice making and liberation through our faith.” (from BLUU’s home page). Click here to go to the donate page.

Resources for talking about race in your family

This blog post by “strivingshannon” cites a recent survey that only 6% of well-meaning white parents talk to their kids about race “often”. The author lists the top 5 reasons (from her work with parents in Atlanta) why this is so. Among the reasons she listed the one that resonates most with me is “fear of getting it wrong.” Her response to this is “you will.” Which is why we need to keep educating ourselves, growing in our understanding, recommitting to the work, and trying again. I encourage you to read her whole post. Here are some resources from the UUA and BLUU (Black Lives of UU) to help you educate yourself, recommit to the work, and talk to your kids.

2015 article, Talk about Race: Starting the Conversation, by Aisha Hauser, MSW and long-time religious educator.

Race, Class and other Complexities resource list, from the “Growing Young Justice-Makers” section of the UUA website.

Family Discussion Suggestions: Identity and Race

Our Whole Lives

Our Whole Lives (O.W.L.) is the values-based lifespan sexuality education curricula developed jointly by the UUA and UCC (United Church of Christ)*. In recent years KUUC has offered the segment designed for youth in grades 7-9 (or homeschool equivalent) in alternate years and so that means we probably won’t offer that curriculum until 23-24. In the meantime, we will also need to get some new facilitators trained up—which is in itself a two-day commitment.

Participant meetings are traditionally held on Sunday afternoons; the actual schedule is flexible and will be determined with input from the facilitators.

Description from the UUA website: “Honest, accurate information about sexuality changes lives. It dismantles stereotypes and assumptions, builds self-acceptance and self-esteem, fosters healthy relationships, improves decision making, and has the potential to save lives.” ( If you feel called to serve your community by facilitating this program, please contact Rev Michael, or Barbara Bryce (RE Committee chair). If you’d like more information before deciding, please check out the UUA O.W.L. info page.

For the time being, please contact Rev. Michael ()  with questions, for more information or to be added to the preliminary registration list. This class fills quickly.

*while the program was developed by two religious denominations, the curriculum is secular – no doctrine or dogma is included, just honest, factual information and the core values of self-worth, sexual health, responsibility and justice and inclusivity.



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