Judy Gustafson

I must admit that, when asked to write a testimonial, my first– and subsequently second, third, and fourth– reaction was to say no. I had no compelling reason(s) to reject the request flat-out, so I decided to let the request and my response marinade in my brain for a while. I like to fulfill requests when I can, and my undergraduate degree is in English, so certainly this was not totally outside my values and skill set?  

My first realization was that I almost never write in first person (I, me, my,etc.). Only in texts and emails do I share personal responses in writing. Now is also the time to admit that my graduate research and thesis was on writing inhibition(s) and phobia. Physician, heal thyself?

Brian and I were looking for a new church after having  been on the church councils of two churches. In both, financial strain exacerbated mission conflict, and we knew we needed to part company. We brainstormed our needs and wants in a new congregation. No list remains of these discussions, but words like “love,” “reason,” “peace,” “truth,” “freedom,” and “serving human need” were prioritized. Need I say more?

My English degree prioritized 19th Century British literature. In the 19th C., a testimony was “a gift presented to someone as a public expression of appreciation for service rendered.” I give this testimony to the UU Church of Rockford as it has most certainly been a gift to me and my family.