Name: Jakob Cawley
Location: Manchester, NH
Affiliated Seminary: Boston University
Affiliated Congregation: Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashua
I have struggled with my religious identity for most of my life. I was raised Roman Catholic and went through the necessary sacraments, but I did not feel welcome in my community or the Christian community at large due to my sexual orientation and gender identity. After Confirmation, I left the church and didn't return to spiritual exploration until after I felt affirmed in my body as a transman (8 years later). After graduating from college, I began to explore eastern faith traditions, yoga and meditation and found them to play a profound role in helping me to love myself enough to reengage my relationship with God. After exploring many faith traditions, I have settled on Unitarian Universalism as my home. I am in the early stages of working towards UU ordination. Through a series of volunteer opportunities with a local hospice organization, along with my work as a licensed nursing assistant, I found my call to hospice chaplaincy. I started attending seminary in fall of 2015 at Andover Newton Theological School and transferred to BU this past fall. I recently had to take a leave of absence from BU for the year due to mental health issues. I am currently working part-time to focus on self care.
I have yet to repair wounds from my Catholic upbringing and I have found a great deal of healing being in spaces with other queer folks of faith. As I begin to redefine who I am as a queer person of faith, I am hoping to be inspired, empowered and encouraged by those I meet here. I do not have many positive queer role models in my life, especially within spaces of faith. I am hoping to make friends and connections that I would otherwise not have the opportunity to make. I am also hoping to experience new ways of loving and expressing myself as I explore what it means to bring my whole self to my work as a religious leader.
Thank you for supporting my fundraiser for Parity's Be the Hope Conference and Retreat in March, 2018. Any money raised above my goal of $500 will help other emerging pastors like me to attend Be the Hope, and to be empowered for their ministries.