Letter From our Incoming President


I want to specifically thank ASC Presidents Leslie Kinney (2020-2024) and Ed Burke (served until 2020) and Treasurers Ron Niswander and Jamie Gibson (served until 2022) for their care and direction of All Souls Church. They have brought All Souls to 2024 in fine fashion through myriad challenging circumstances, milestones and celebrations. Gratitude also to everyone who has or is currently serving on our Board of Trustees. I’m grateful that I get to step in under such auspicious conditions.


I’m going through a period of examining my notions of identity. What does it mean when we “identify” as something? A seemingly relevant question: I’m now identifying as the President of a UU congregation. Does that mean that I identify as a UU?


Many years ago, I saw a bumper sticker that said “Militant Agnostic: I don’t Know and Neither do You!” I gasped; “That’s it! That’s what I am!” Recently, I came to a new conclusion. I’m a non-dualist, dueling with duality. Is that concordant with being a UU?


I find myself in a male body. People typically identify me as male. I’m not sure this equates to me identifying as a man. But it may well. I have a genetic background, national affiliation, cultural environment, sexual orientation, physical type, astrological sign, and on and on. In what ways do I identify as these things? Some of them certainly identify who I “am” to others.


Some ways in which I identify are very public. My professional work for example. I like to advertise those identities! Some are much more private. It seems what/who I “identify as” is dynamic, context and mood sensitive, partly a current of evolving understanding, partly a calcification of beliefs and biases. 


In what ways do you “identify?” In what ways might you identify differently in different situations and with different people? It seems that how we identify can both build bridges and sow division. When and why do we make how we identify someone else’s business, such as by wearing a pin or displaying a bumper sticker?


So, here we are, pretty much identifying as UUs, among our myriad other qualities. What does it mean to you to be UU (or at least UU-ish!)? How do you want being UU to influence your life, and the lives of others?


What might being a leader, President of our Board mean to me? I will be exploring what it means to hold this role with curiosity and flexibility, and an openness to learning together so that we continue to thrive. Thank you for the opportunity to help in leading our congregation. I am eager to share time and explore questions with Rev. Telos and the remarkable people who make up All Souls. 


— Daniel Kasnitz