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Bound by the Quality of our Commitment: The Rev. Karen Gustafson
There are many ways that human beings bind together - as individuals; as groups that work and play and celebrate together; as communities; as civic entities and many more. We are bound together by shared beliefs or interests or rules or fear or affinity or need. We are bound together for good; for better and sometimes for worse; in the short term or for the long haul. Central in all of this binding together is a quality of commitment.
Unitarian and Universalist founders understood religious community as being bound, not by creed, but by covenant, a particular kind of commitment based not upon enforced rules but upon trust in the quality and integrity of the promises we make to one another. On February 12 let us look together at the covenantal basis for our Unitarian Universalist tradition and the gifts and challenges that the idea and practice of covenant pose as a basis for human relationship.
Karen Gustafson is in her first year as a “retired” Unitarian Universalist Minister. She graduated from the Starr King School for the ministry in 1985. She was ordained by the First Unitarian Church of Duluth, Minnesota where she served until 2007. From 2007 until 2013 she was Associate Minister at the First Unitarian Society of Madison, Wisconsin from which she “retired” in 2013. She then served as interim minister at Michael Servetus Unitarian Society in Fridley, Minnesota. She has served on many UUA and Prairie Star District boards and committees. Karen now shares a home with her husband John Gustafson in Knife River, Minnesota near the shore of Lake Superior, which is as close to heaven as she ever expects to get. In addition to several small on going commitments to the UUA and her colleagues, she is enjoying time with her family which includes four adult children and five grandchildren.