Rev. Kathy Schmitz was called to serve First Unitarian Church of Orlando by a unanimous vote of the congregation in the spring of 2010 and began her service in August of the same year. About congregational life, she writes:
“I believe that everything that happens in the life of a congregation is a reflection of who we are and what we believe. I like to lead creative worship with thought-provoking messages that challenge us to reflect on how we live our lives, both within the congregation and in the wider community.
To support what happens in worship, I enjoying working collaboratively with lifespan religious education programs, as well as social justice efforts. Through such cooperation, the whole life of the community generates an energy that supports the vision and mission of the congregation and gains an integrity that is clear to all.”
Ordained in 1999, Rev. Kathy served for eight years as the settled minister in Braintree, Massachusetts, before serving congregations in Texas and Miami as an interim minster. She holds a Masters of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School. Prior to entering seminary, she worked as a software engineer and holds a BS in Computer Science from Cornell University, School of Engineering.
Rev. Kathy believes that the opportunity to be in community with others who have different beliefs is one of the great gifts of Unitarian Universalism. She personally enjoys listening to and trying to understand other perspectives. Of her own theology, she writes:
“Like many Unitarian Universalists, I find it hard to give myself a label. It would be perhaps most accurate at the moment to say that I am an eco-humanist, strongly influenced by Buddhist practice and teaching. The “eco” prefix on humanism is to actively counter the old humanist idea that humankind is the measure of everything. My humanism recognizes that humans are only one part of a complex web of existence. My spirituality is strongly grounded in the natural world, a reality that expresses itself most clearly in an environmental lifestyle. I am also consistently drawn to Buddhist philosophy and over the years have incorporated many Buddhist practices into my everyday and spiritual life.”
Kathy is married to Charlie Behrens. They have two adult daughters. Pam lives in Atlanta, GA, with her two sons. Erika (Riky) lives in Worcester, MA, with her husband and two sons.
You can read Rev. Kathy’s blog at GrowingInPlace.WordPress.com
You can email Rev. Kathy at Minister@orlandouu.org
Rev. Kathy’s is most often in the office during the day on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. She frequently has appointments scheduled either in the office or off-campus, so it is an excellent idea to call or email before making a special trip to see her. With advanced notice, she is happy to schedule appointments that fit your schedule, for example in the early evening.
Thursday is her writing day; Friday is her day off.