Hello! I’m Rev. Julie Brock. My deepest calling is to build beloved community. In my experience, beloved community is built when people are intentional about taking really good care of one another and our neighbors who may not sit in our pews, but who share our humanity. My favorite tools of the trade are shared meals, grounding ritual, good storytelling, and soul-deep music. My ministry is all about celebrating life and its source, whatever we might imagine it to be. I believe Unitarian Universalism’s core message, that we are all worthy and all connected, is necessary, even life saving, especially in this time of division and isolation. I look forward to the next congregation with whom I can spread the UU message, build the beloved community, and have fun doing it.
Below is my answer to the question “what do you tell people who have never heard of Unitarian Universalism?”
I am a lifelong Unitarian Universalist, and come to UU ministry through a collection of experiences. I take wisdom from each of the stops I’ve made along the journey.
I grew up attending the First UU Church of Detroit and learned that in order to eradicate poverty and racism, we must be in deep relationship with and listen to the stories of the people who experience those evils.
I took a leadership role in national UU youth and young adult communities, where I learned community works best when we can uphold the worth of individuals while tending the needs of the communal whole.
I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater and Music from Columbia College Chicago, and learned that the pleasures of life present themselves more easily amidst play and song.
I spent a first career as a development professional for a business incubator in Detroit. There I learned that people make investments in things that ignite their passion.
I earned a Masters of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry, and found that learning to counter oppression is tender work that needs the support of accountable community.
I completed my ministerial internship at the First Unitarian Society of Madison, Wisconsin, where I learned that good administration and governance are inseparable from the work of spirit and justice; in fact, they make it possible.
I spent the last five years ministering to the Community Unitarian Universalists in Brighton, Michigan, and found that beloved community is sustained when people are given meaningful projects to work on across traditionally segregated lines.
For more information you can view my resume.
I currently live in the city of Detroit with my partner Joel Batterman, our six-month-old child, Donovan Amos, and our cat Latke.
Joel recently graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, with a PhD in urban planning. He currently works for the NAACP as a transportation justice researcher. He is incredibly funny and wise. I learn from him every day and benefit from his support; he is very adept at his self-styled position of “preacher’s wife.”
Donovan is named after his two dearly departed uncles, Don and Ivan Jr. The name Donovan also uplifts his Irish heritage, while his middle name, Amos, honors Joel’s Jewish heritage and his mother’s favorite prophet from the Hebrew Bible.
And I can’t forget about our cat Latke. Loveable, lazy Latke, who only eats some of the plants.