Spiritual LeadershipSay "hello" to our spiritual leader, Damon Governa, MDiv.
Damon Governa, MDiv.
Damon Governa was raised in Bucks County, PA, and moved to NY in 2000. He attended Hunter College in New York, NY, earning undergraduate degrees in World Religions and Psychology, and then went on to attend Union Theological Seminary in New York, NY. While there he enjoyed the opportunity to intern as a chaplain in NY-Presbyterian Hospital’s psychiatric unit. He also had his first experience in a ministerial role, leading an interfaith addictions recovery ministry called Step By Step, in Brooklyn, NY as fulfillment of the “field site” requirement for a particular course. Upon completion of that course, Damon realized he had built up a small congregation which would fold upon his leaving, so he continued to lead that congregation until moving to Bay Shore, NY in 2009. He graduated seminary in 2010 having earned a Master of Divinity degree, with concentration in Psychiatry & Religion.
After graduation, Damon became credentialed by New York state as an alcohol and substance abuse counselor (CASAC), and has since worked at all levels of addiction treatment. While working for the SAFE Foundation, an outpatient addiction treatment facility in Brooklyn, NY which specializes in working with the Jewish community, Damon created the curriculum for, and led, the facility’s first spirituality process group. This offered recovering individuals with religious wounds or prejudices the opportunity to face and transcend those roadblocks, and to embrace a spirit-centered recovery process.
Damon assumed UUGSB’s ministerial leadership in 2016, after having been a regular service leader at the Unitarian Universalist Congregations of Queens, the Unitarian Universalist Society of South Suffolk, and the (former) Muttontown Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, and having led services at UUGSB on a increasingly frequent basis since 2013.
Damon has a passion for raising public awareness of Unitarian Universalism, considering himself a “UU evangelist.” In the pulpit, he appreciates the opportunity to “reclaim” traditional religious texts, interpreting them from a Unitarian Universalist perspective.
Damon currently resides in Bay Shore with his wife Staci. He loves to cook and to garden, and eagerly looks forward to our game nights here at the church. Himself a recovered alcoholic, he remains active in guiding others in the recovery community to freedom from addiction. He also currently maintains a private practice as a spiritual counselor.