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REV. ART SEVERANCE
Art was born and raised in New Hampshire, but has lived in Pennsylvania, Texas, Colorado, and Ohio.He was born in Franklin, NH and moved with his family to the small city of Laconia, N.H. at the age of 10. Art graduated from high school in 1967. His family was active in the Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) and Art became active, not just in the local youth group but also at the state level on the New Hampshire State Youth Council. He went to Ursinus College outside of Philadelphia, PA having decided to become a UCC minister, but the 1960′s culture and studying liberal arts found him evolving out of traditional religion, and though he had become a “UU without knowing it,” it would take him more than 20 years to find out.
Art is a folk singer, songwriter and plays the 12 string guitar. He recorded an album on cassette of original songs titled, “Art Severance Searching For Love, Truth, and Perhaps Even God.” He often uses his guitar and folk music in his worship services. In 1991, he was called to First UU Church San Antonio where he served until 2006. He helped them grow from 250 to 450 members, and to build a 500 seat sanctuary. He also served as one of the Ministerial Settlement Representatives for the district, helping churches get ready for the search process, then helping search committees with their process. He also was active in various social justice programs in the city. He served a year as interim minister at the Boulder UU Fellowship in Colorado, from 2006-2007, and was called to East Shore UU Church outside of Cleveland, Ohio, where he served until recently. This past year he has served as interim minister in Stockton, CA.
Theologically he usually describes himself as a Mystical Humanist on the cusp of Naturalistic Theism, but probably closer to being an Emersonian Transcendentalist. Basically, he says, “I’m a religious searcher and try to remain open to what I call, the “religious dimension” that we seem not to be able to accurately name, but know when we encounter it.”
Cathie and Art have been married since 1973, and have three adult daughters: Cristina, a kindergarten teacher, born 9/21/77; Katie, a RN going for her MS, 7/5/79; Elizabeth, a high school guidance counselor, 6/5/83; as well as a beloved Australian Shepherd, “Olympia Brown.” Cristina is now married with a new daughter, born June 28, 2010 and a nine year old stepson. Cristina and Elizabeth live in San Antonio and Katie lives in Austin.