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Unitarian Universalists Speaker to Focus on Recognizing Personal Strength and Power

By Jon Sievert

At this Sunday’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship service, The Reverend Debra Faulk of the Unitarian Church of Calgary addresses how we limit ourselves by giving into fear without recognizing our own strength and power.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate—our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. In the words of Marianne Williamson, “We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?” As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

The quote comes from Williamson’s A Return to Love, although it has often been credited to Nelson Mandela, who used it in his inaugural speech upon taking leadership in South Africa. The service will use this quote as the inspirational diving board.

What is it that we fear about our own light and power? Faulk explores some of the things that might limit us, including culturally mandated biases, certain social pressures, and even denominational confines that have withheld the full expression of our unique and universal greatness. This is a time when we are invited to recognize our own power and privilege and to use them for the greater good.

Faulk holds a BA in psychology and anthropology from the University of Victoria and a Masters of Divinity from Vancouver School of Theology. She has served as a chaplain at Vancouver General Hospital, as the Director of Religious Education at the First Unitarian Church in Victoria, and as Parish Minister to congregations in British Columbia and Ontario. She is now in her ninth year as Minister of the Unitarian Church of Calgary.

Rev Faulk is a member of the UU Ministers Association’s Collegial Development Team. This past summer she participated in a pilgrimage to Transylvania for the 450th anniversary of the Diet of Torda, said to be the first recorded document of religious freedom. Her greatest passions are interfaith dialogue and action, building community of all ages and perspectives, addressing issues of equity, and protecting the environment. Her two adult children and five grandchildren were born, raised, and still live on the west coast of Canada.

For more information about the UUFSMA, including our children’s eeligious education program, social action outreach, weekly discussion groups, social activities, and our Care Team, join us any Sunday at 10:30 am at the Hotel Posada de La Aldea, or check out our website at


UU Service

“Let Your Light Shine”

Rev Debra Faulk

Sun, Jan 27, 10:30am

Hotel Posada de La Aldea

Ancha de San Antonio 15, Centro




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