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‘My Search For Hope In Dystopia’ Is Subject Of Virtual Service

The Rev. Steve Aschmann will give the sermon at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown’s 10:30 a.m. virtual service on Sunday, Oct. 18. The Westfield resident is retired from the UU Congregation of Erie and serves as president of Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) of Chautauqua County.

At the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown’s 10:30 a.m. virtual service on Sunday, Oct. 18, the Rev. Steve Aschmann will speak on “My Personal Search for Hope in Dystopia.”

Retired from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie (Pa.), Aschmann resides in Westfield with his wife, Denise. They are both very active in Chautauqua Institution.

Aschmann was born out of the aftermath of post World War II Germany, the son of a U.S. Army veteran father who stayed in Europe to serve in the United Nations and a German national mother. He grew up in downstate New York, sensitive to the plight of all sorts of “displaced persons.”

Aschmann served as a conscientious objector on active duty in the United States Army during Vietnam. He began his theological education with a very short stint at Bob Jones University, thereafter attending Dutchess Community College, State University at Brockport, and earned his M.Div. degree from Colgate-Rochester Divinity School in 1980.

Ordained in the United Church of Christ, Rev. Aschmann served UCC congregations in western New York and western Pennsylvania for 25 years. He became the settled minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie in 2005, where he retired after 10 years of ministry.

As he wrote at the end of his time in Erie, “My free and open portfolio as a ‘UU’ minister gave me carte blanche to demonstrate in the streets, picket with union workers, walk the streets with the homeless, associate with marginalized and share my nonreligious values.”

Aschmann currently serves as president of Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) of Chautauqua County. In his ministry among the Gay communities, he has been known as “Rev. Rainbow.”

Because of COVID-19 limitations, all UUCJ Sunday services are currently virtual instead of at its 1255 Prendergast Avenue location. Anyone is welcome to participate by emailing UUJamestown@gmail.com to receive the Zoom link for the 10:30 a.m. service.

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown is a progressive, liberal religious community serving the southern tier of Western New York. You can learn more about the UUCJ at jamestownuu.org or on their Facebook page, facebook.com/jamestownuu.

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