Suzanne B. Siegel grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan where she attended Reform Jewish Temple Emanuel. She said she became aware of Unitarianism while living in California in the 1960s where she attended the Unitarian church in Santa Barbara.
Suzanne said, “In the ‘60s I also began attending the vespers chanting at the SB Vedanta temple and occasionally on Christian holidays attended the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.
“In 1971 I was baptized a Christian and two years later I took up transcendental meditation and began to study Vedic philosophy,” Suzanne said, “Starting Transcendental Meditation was the best thing I ever did. It changed everything and saved my life.” (confirmed by my cardiologist.)
Suzanne said “Insights gained from my study and the unequalled life-transforming practice of Transcendental Meditation have combined to make up my present spiritual outlook. Thus the ecumenism espoused by my father, and subsequently the UUism, has naturally been very appealing to me”
She began attending People’s in the early 2000s after being encouraged by Jan Crosby and Gail Lauzzana.
“It was Rev. Jill who particularly impressed me so that I joined in the spring of 2007. And now Rev. Rachel is a superb exemplar of the Path of the Heart which I’ve been pleased to notice has been an increasing emphasis in the UU generally over the couple of decades as opposed to a rather chilly, almost militant intellectualism that had somehow taken over what I still think of as Unitarianism. Rev. Rachel really knows how to Say it with Love.”
As an artist, Suzanne says she has been impressed with People’s Art Wall and how art conscious the congregation is. Her artwork captures most of her time and energy, so she says her participation in the church has centered on art-related events and functions such as the art wall shows and exhibiting at the annual Fine Arts bazaar. She donated to the church a painting of the church as it looked before the addition of the new wing.
Suzanne says she benefits greatly from the fellowship and stimulation of Sunday Services and the potluck meals and musical events.
(Suzanne B. Siegel, 75, is an interpretive realist painter.)