Sabbatical – India

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Engage Unitarianism in India with members of the Unitarian Union of Northeast India (UUNEI), in a faith community that traces its roots to 1887. These congregations exist in rural and urban settings, and economic privilege varies tremendously between individual members in both contexts. Explore how the Khasi Unitarian gospel adapts to these varying economic circumstances, and what it means to be in spiritual solidarity with Unitarians in Northeast India.

General Outline

The congregations will make specific plans with the visiting religious professional that reflect your areas of expertise and their areas of need.  Typically this will include leading worship and sharing skills and experience with UUNEI leaders and ministers in development.   Opportunities to serve can also be arranged in the Unitarian school system and at the Unitarian orphanage.  Visiting religious professionals with expertise in community organizing or social justice planning are particularly encouraged to consider this placement, where you will find opportunities to share these skills.

Collegiality and connection with the wider UU faith are the most important needs that these communities have identified regarding visiting religious leaders.  Specific opportunities for sharing and growth will grow out of the visit, but the starting place will be relationship.

It is not uncommon for Unitarians in Northeast India to be proficient with English, but visiting religious leaders will often find themselves in situations where translation is necessary.  The UUNEI leaders will provide assistance in these cases.The host community will provide home hospitality, orientation, and arrange transportation between cities and villages during the visit


In Spite of the Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India, by Edward Luce

Unitarianism In India: The Orchid; a chapter from The Garden of Unitarian Universalism by Melinda Sayavedra and Marilyn Walker

Blog posts about the UUNEI

History of U/U International Engagement – the First 125 Years

The History of Kharang, by Bruce Findlow

For more information about this placement, contact the UUA’s International Office at

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Heather Vickery is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with UU congregations, State Action Networks, past UU College of Social Justice (UUCSJ) program participants, and regional staff in order to expand engagement in UUSC and UUCSJ’s work. As the Coordinator for Congregational Activism, she manages the workshop offerings and group visits to the UUSC/UUCSJ office and assists with communications for the Activism and Justice Education Team. Heather is an active member of the Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network and a dedicated dog-mom to her rescue puppy Nova.

Heather may be contacted at and 617-301-4303