Introducing Our New Minister, Katie McQuage-Loukas
Welcome our new minister, Katie McQuage-Loukas!
Click here to read a personal message from Katie
Your Search Committee is eager to share information about our new minister, Katie McQuage-Loukas, so that you can get to know her and be as thrilled to welcome her to our church as we are. For information about her experience and preparation, click here.
In preparation for a search for a congregation, ministerial candidates go through a long process that includes writing about themselves for presentation to searching congregations. The resulting document is called a Ministerial Record. The following quotes come from a small part of Katie’s Ministerial Record. We will send out more information every week.
In 2011, Katie received her paralegal certification at Alvin Community College. She worked as a paralegal from 2010 to 2019. Katie has this story to tell about how her work as a paralegal helped lead her to ministry.
This is a story about how I came to realize I wanted to be a minister, as I was trying to discern what ministry was and whether it was for me. As a paralegal, I worked in employee benefits—primarily insurance disputes. It is a difficult field with few wins, and even if we did win, we only solved the problem of insurance, not the illness itself or the myriad issues that illness caused in the lives of our clients. After a particularly hard loss, one that hurt the hearts of everyone in the office, the client sent us flowers. I was stunned. Why would someone be so grateful when we had failed? The card said that we were the first people to listen, the first to advocate, the first to care that this person was struggling. They thanked us for accompanying them regardless of outcome. I realized how few places there are in our lives to feel authentically known, to believe that a person who asks how we are really does want to hear more than, “Fine, thanks.” This isn’t the whole of ministry, but it was this moment that made me realize I not only could do ministry, I already was. Living in authentic relationship, in the company of others, and working for a more justice future is the heart of ministry. Accompanying each other on our life journeys, in times of sorrow or difficulty, but also in celebration, in exploration and growth, and in our work.
When asked what ministry she hoped was ahead for her, Katie had this to say:
I’m drawn to congregational ministry. I love the sense of community a congregation can offer, and my experiences of congregational life are a significant part of how I was shaped and formed and called. After a fairly solitary spiritual life before I found Unitarian Universalism, I fell in love with communal worship. I fell in love with small group ministry. I have been empowered in community work by doing it with a congregation instead of alone. I want to contribute to that, to pay it forward and keep it going.
Katie grew up unchurched, finding the holy in the land, sea, and sky. When she found and fell in love with Unitarian Universalism, it felt as though her individual spirit had a taproot, as if she found a foundation she had not known she needed. Through hymns and rituals, she felt deeply connected to those in the pews with her, in a way that enriched and enlivened her personal practices.
Her personal spirituality is grounded in nature, and in the ways spirit manifests in the world. Unitarian Universalism enables her to hold a larger container, to appreciate the beauty and wisdom of so many traditions and practices, as she accompanies others on our shared journeys.
She sees Unitarian Universalism as spiritual solidarity. It is multifaith and multivalent, with many meanings embedded into the larger whole. The resonances we create together deepen us all and open us all to wider experiences of the sacred.
Our shared experiences of the sacred reorient us by revealing the true nature of our lives together, and showing glimpses of what else might be. Our spirits urge us to action, to building a more loving and just world. This reorientation and revelation moves us to seek expansion, liberation, and more abundant life.
For more information about Katie’s approach to different aspects of church life including worship, children and youth, stewardship, and much more, click here.
To see Katie’s pre-candidating sermon in February in Galveston, click here.
To see Katie’s first sermon at BAUUC on April 30, 2023, click here.
To see Katie’s second sermon at BAUUC on May 7, 2023, click here.