December 11, 2018
Sydney Neumann is a 21-year-old Seattle native born in Bellingham, raised in Seattle and graduated from Ingraham High School. She recently returned after living one year in Modesto, California. Currently living with roommates, Sydney hopes to acquire her own apartment and work toward becoming a foster/adoptive parent in the next few years. Living near Magnuson Park, places Sydney with easy access to nature (what she loves the most about living in this area) and easy bus access.
Sydney grew up in an abusive home situation and left after high school. She has been “on her own” ever since. “I have a wonderful support system! My teachers from high school and some other adults are like parents and older siblings to me, and I have wonderful friends my age here too,” She says. “I moved to California because I thought leaving Seattle would help me overcome my past, but my family of choice (Sunday’s sermon was SO amazing) brought me back – as did work.
A preschool teacher at Bright Horizons in University Village, her employer is financially assisting Sydney to earn her degree. “I love my job with all my heart, and I also love music; I sing and play piano and guitar.” Her favorite musicians include Sarah McLachlan and Amy Grant. She also enjoys exploring the city, fashion, reading and writing. Sydney hopes to publish a memoir someday and has made a great start with her blog all about overcoming abuse/mental illness that boasts nearly 10,000 followers.
Sydney’s biological family celebrated the commercial versions of Christmas and Easter, but religion resonated with her from the start. “When I was a child and bad things were happening to me, I found myself praying with no explanation or knowledge about how to talk to God – it just felt right. As a teen, I talked about God more with my friends and explored the concept of Christianity. My first job as an assistant teacher at St. John Catholic School in Greenwood, made me realize how important my faith is to me. “Having grown up in Seattle, things like LGBTQ rights are super important to me. When I lived in California, I googled "LGBTQ friendly churches" and the UCC came up. I attended a UCC church there and found it fit my values perfectly.”
After moving back to Seattle, first and foremost, Sydney sought a UCC church. She decided on Plymouth because her long-time therapist works in the IBM building. “So, it seemed meant to be! I came to service for the first time, and walking through the doors felt like coming home, which is something I don't feel often in my life. I love it already – everyone is genuinely warm and welcoming.
Sydney feels most inspired by a former high school teacher, who she refers to as her "big sister.”
“She always faces the world with the utmost compassion, kindness and courage – she is everything I aspire to be in a teacher and a person. I am also hugely influenced by my students because they are so full of love and joy.”
In addition to singing in the Chancel Choir, Sydney hopes to participate in Community & Care and social justice service. Welcome! – Janice Randall