Posted by jessica

Hello Neighborhood!

This is my contribution to our “getting to know your board” blog! We all had the same list of questions to pick from and you can probably figure out which ones I chose.

When I came to Neighborhood some 14 years ago, I was at a spiritual turning point. I credit reading Joseph Campbell with helping me realize that all religions are cultural inflections of
spiritual truths- myths are metaphors that try to capture spiritual “truth.” When we try to turn them
into historic facts is where credal religions go astray. Someone recommended Neighborhood and the first time I came, I wept during the service. I felt like this religion had been invented for me!

It amazes me that Neighborhood Church is not better known in a world where religious identification is declining and the only category that is growing is “spiritual but not religious!” I
would encourage anyone who is new to Neighborhood to keep coming and to get connected to a small group here. And I encourage us all to reach out and welcome people. I know
what a difference a few people made to me when I was new.

Here are three things most people don’t know about me:
I was trapped in the mountains for three days and airlifted out after I had fully expected to die.

I was once a certified scuba diver. My scariest and most exciting dive was at night with manta
rays.

I am a bonafide introvert. The book Quiet, really helped me understand how our society became so unfriendly to introverts and how most of us learned to “pass” in order to fit in professionally and socially. I like doing things with people but reach a point where I just need to be quiet and alone! I am not good with names, even of people I know well, especially when under stress, so I tend to greet people with my name and hope they will return the favor!

Books were a refuge for me growing up. My favorite fiction book is Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ One
Hundred Years of Solitude and my most recent fav is A Gentleman in Moscow. Over the years I
have become more of a non-fiction fan and have a long list of favorites that have influenced me or made me say “wow, I never understood that!” One is The Righteous Mind which explains how our ethical and moral constructs may have evolved and how such different actions spring
from the same goal, e.g. what the impulse to protect children looks like in conservatives and liberals, in the evolutionary past and in the present.

I am friendly and harmless but not very warm and fuzzy. I love being part of a community that takes me as I am and values me, warts and all, where I can extend that care and respect to you. I look forward to the chance to know you better!

One Response to Board Blog: Board President Mimi Hennessy

  1. Lark Matis-Ruffner says:

    On Sundays I always wake up and check out what will be happening at Neighborhood UU. I was delighted to read your blog and find out a little more about you. Thank you for such a lovely introduction. See you in church!
    Lark Ruffner