Sermon delivered by Rev. Scott Aaseng on March 25, 2018. Working for justice can sometimes seem like a matter of giving up what we want and acting entirely for the sake of others. But is there a way of looking at action for justice as something in which we have a stake in what happens – with our own skin in the game?
Rev. Aaseng was a musician, a community activist, and a Lutheran pastor (among other things) prior to discovering his call to Unitarian Universalist ministry. Today, he is Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois (UUANI) and UTUUC's Community Minister.
Scott graduated from the St. Olaf Paracollege with a degree in Peace Studies, and spent a year studying and traveling in South Africa during the apartheid years. He volunteered as a teacher in rural Tanzania, before returning to the U.S. and earning his M.Div. at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He interned at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, and served a small Lutheran congregation on the southwest side of Chicago for five years in the early 1990’s.
He left ordained ministry to become primary caregiver for his two daughters, while becoming project director and then grant-writer for the Southwest Youth Collaborative, a community-based youth organization he helped found. He also served as musician for a number of church gospel choirs, and went on to serve as Village Musician at Holden Village, a Lutheran retreat center in the mountains of Washington state. Upon returning to Chicago in 2005, he became a project assistant with American Friends Service Committee, coordinating a nationally touring display of combat boots and civilian shoes showing the human cost of war. He also began attending Third Unitarian Church in Chicago with his family.
Becoming a musician at Third Unitarian in 2009 re-awakened his call to ministry, now more clearly grounded in Unitarian Universalism. He took classes at both Starr King and Meadville Lombard seminaries, completed his internship at Unity Temple, and went on to serve as Unity Temple’s first Assistant Minister for Social Justice. He has since served as part-time Consulting Minister at the Unitarian Church of Quincy, Illinois and at First Unitarian Church of Hobart, Indiana. He now serves as Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois.
Scott has lived on the west side of Chicago for 20 years with his spouse, Gale Holmlund, and their two teenage daughters, Sunniva and Brita. He enjoys bicycling, playing piano, being outdoors, and traveling with his family.
The theme for March is how to be a people of balance. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website.