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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.


   After graduating in 1972 he met his wife Cathie while at a friend’s house in Bucks County, PA and since she was a Special Education teacher, he found a job in a private Special Education School, though he wasn’t a certified teacher. He explored different social service jobs in education, residential treatment counseling, but neither he nor his wife were active in any church. A friend invited them to a UU fellowship in 1981 and they discovered they were UU’s all along. Art decided to enter seminary to become a UU minister and graduated from Lancaster Pennsylvania Theological Seminary in 1987. Interestingly enough, it was a UCC seminary! During seminary, he served as a student minister at a small UU church in Reading, PA for two years, preaching two Sundays a month. He did his internship at the Princeton Unitarian Church, then took part time ministries at small fellowships in Baptistown, NJ, Lower Bucks County, PA, and BuxMont UU Fellowship in Warrington, PA for two years.

 

   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.


   Cathie, born and raised in Bucks County, PA, has been a Special Education teacher since 1971. She has led parenting courses at church, and we have co-taught a parenting difficult children workshop. She has also taught many years in RE and is always active in everything! She had taught Special Education in San Antonio since 1991, and currently teaches Special Education students in private tutoring programs. Cathie will remain in Ohio. Art collects antiques, especially toys, books, cameras, and enjoys reading (religion, history, psychology, anthropology, historical novels), photography, folk music, travel, movies, and good food and conversation. His favorite TV show is “American Pickers.”

 

 

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