“”God is not an outside force controlling our lives. She or he is within us and a part of who we are. It is WE who are called to help build a better world.” Rev. Doug Slagle
As Unitarian Universalists, we believe in the “priesthood” of all people – that everyone is a minister–whether one serves in that role professionally or not.
Having said that, we equally believe that there are experienced and trained women and men who are personally ‘called’ to serve as persons who inspire and care for a congregation. They are not any more ‘holy’ or special than other persons. Much like being a teacher, nurse or accountant is a calling, we believe that exceptional ministers have a similar calling in helping to lead, encourage and serve spiritual communities. At the Gathering at Northern Hills, our minister, Rev. Doug Slagle, serves with that calling.
Doug Slagle has been a Minister for over 12 years. He served the Gathering, a small church located in downtown Cincinnati, as its minister from 2009 until June 1, 2015 when the Gathering merged with the Northern Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. At the Gathering, he focused on the needs of a small, close-knit congregation with progressive spiritual beliefs. He encouraged and helped develop its efforts to serve the urban poor and homeless. Serving for the first time in his career as a Sunday speaking minister, Doug grew in his skills as a “preacher”. He is someone who seeks to inspire without assuming he is a religious authority.
Doug attended Seminary in 1999 and 2000 with a focus on Bible studies and Pastoral Care. Prior to his five years at the Gathering, he served as an Associate Pastor of a large east-side Cincinnati church. He was its Pastoral Care minister helping to create, lead and foster home groups and book clubs, building volunteer opportunities and providing care for the needs of the congregation. He performed numerous weddings and funeral services as a part of his responsibilities.
As a minister, Doug believes in empowering people to think for themselves, seek their own spiritual truth and feel a part of a larger, loving community. He promotes and encourages diversity and his desire for GNH is that it be a place where individuals of all genders, races, sexual orientations and religious backgrounds feel welcome and celebrated. He tries to practice ’empathetic listening’ where the needs and opinions of each person are understood and valued. Doug is a friendly and accessible minister – someone who enjoys getting to know every member by listening to their concerns and offering them care when it is needed.
Doug wants GNH to be a place where people can connect at a number of social events – congregation potlucks, Pub Nights, movie nights, book clubs, field trips and other outings. In addition, the Gathering at Northern Hills will be a place committed not only to speaking in behalf of justice for the poor, homeless and marginalized, it will actively work to give its time and resources in assistance to them. Regular outreach and community serving are cornerstones of his ministry and he believes they are vitally important for the health of any spiritual community.
Doug’s messages are thought provoking without endorsing one particular brand of faith. In his mind, there are many pathways to truth and so he uses multiple sources of wisdom from the Bible to the Veda, Torah, Koran and secular resources for his Sunday messages. In each one of us, Doug believes, lies the moral imagination that leads us to seek cooperation with others in building a more just and compassionate world.
Doug and his partner live near downtown Cincinnati. He is active in the GLBT community and enjoys outdoor activities, time spent with friends and family, yoga, exercise and travel. Doug is also the proud dad of two married daughters, Sara and Amy. Both are pursuing nursing careers and occasionally attend GNH.
You can contact Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan West serves as a “shared administrator” with our sister congregation First Unitarian Universalist of Cincinnati. Susan has been with GNH since June of 2016.
Susan’s office hours at GNH are from 8 AM to 1 PM Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Susan is a former minister and has a warm and caring personality. She is ready and willing to assist members, friends and guests!