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Rosemary Bray McNatt, My Minister

By Catherine Wayland



Preface by Catherine Wayland

Here at International Family Magazine in the month of December, we are focusing on the Holidays both as a festive celebration and a spiritual journey. I myself was raised Catholic and just like our writer Cheryl Paley, went in search of something that “I” could believe in for my own family rather than simply inheriting a religion. I searched and searched and found it in Unitarian Universalism. For me, it dared to include all religions as valuable. I like that very much. It reminds me of the same philosophy which founded International Family magazine. The magazine looks to include all families as valuable and searching for the same thing in one way or another. That feels good to me. And with that, I welcome Rosemary Bray McNatt. She has been a treasure to my family, a beacon of light when we were grappling along in the beginning of starting to have babies. We suffered infertility for a couple years, and it had given us such an awkward start. The babies began to come along after surgeries and procedures, but my husband and I were still suffering the hurt. We needed a hand, Rosemary offered not just one helping hand, but two. When my two boys Brodhir and Jax run around the church during coffee hour grabbing at Rosemary’s knees, as John and I socialize with our fellow congregates, I have to hold back the tears at times and simply say, “thank you, thank you – we are such a happy little family, thank you thank you.”


Bio of Rosemary Bray McNatt

The Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt is minister of The Fourth Universalist Society in the City of New York, a 165-year old Unitarian Universalist congregation on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, she is a graduate of Yale University and Drew Theological Seminary.

An editor and widely anthologized writer for more than 20 years before answering the call to ordained ministry, The Rev. Ms. McNatt is a former editor at the New York Times Book Review.  In addition to the Book Review, her work has appeared in Essence, Glamour, Ms, Redbook, The New York Times Magazine, The Village Voice and other national publications.  She is author of three books, including her memoir, "Unafraid of the Dark;" a contributing editor to UU World, the magazine of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations; an adjunct instructor at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and a contributing columnist (“Reverend Mother”) for Beliefnet.com.

Her years of service to the Unitarian Universalist faith have included work as a member of the Association’s Committee on Urban Concerns and Ministry; the Task Force for Strategic Options for Beacon Press; and chair of the Board of Trustees of Starr King School for the Ministry.  Currently she serves as a member of the Association’s Panel on Theological Education and is a founder of the Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Ministry, created to provide culturally sensitive liberal religious responses to mass disaster and other significant trauma.  The Rev. Ms. McNatt lives in New York City with her husband, Robert, and their two sons, Allen and Daniel.

For more information on Unitarian Universalism or Fourth Unitarian congregation, you can visit www.4thu.org

For more information on beliefnet.com which covers Christianity, Hinduism,

Judaism, Buddhism, Fundamentalism, and all other faiths, www.beliefnet.com


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