Riverside Reflections, September 2011
Rev. Millie Rochester
Leafing through the hymnal “Singing the Living Tradition” recently, I came across one of my all-time favourites, “Rank by Rank.” It’s often sung at Unitarian Universalist gatherings on special occasions. It begins:
Rank by rank, again we stand,
From the four winds gathered hither...
The words of the second line always give me a thrill. I’m reminded of that song at this time of the year. For many North Americans, the summer months offer opportunities for leisure – at the beach, city parks, cottages, in travel – or just a slower pace at home, when school is not in session and holidays can be scheduled.
There was a time when this way of life was so prevalent, church “let out” for the summer. With the advent of air conditioning and popular demand, that’s no longer the case, as those who serve on the Sunday Services Committee and anyone who had the pleasure of attending our Summer Services can attest. Not only were speakers inspiring and topics stimulating; volunteers continued greeting, ushering, and serving refreshments; and many members and friends attended weekly.
The Sunday Services Committee is joined in its year ’round presence by the Pastoral Care Team, for illness, loss and grief do not take holidays, as we all know.
Now, those of us who had a summer hiatus, along with those of us who never left, gather hither from the four winds. It’s a time to celebrate being in community, whether we’re long-time members or newcomers. It’s time to stand together again in song, break bread together at potlucks, share stories amid laughter, and even tears sometimes.
Sundays provide the most obvious opportunities for being together, but you can deepen that experience through participating in a Chalice Circle – groups of eight to ten folks who meet monthly to exchange thoughts about specific topics. Contact Linda Henderson, the Coordinator to register for a group that’s convenient for you. You might want to sing in the Choir – contact our fabulous Music Director, PJ Buchan; or enjoy the company of younger folks – let our wonderful Director of Religious Exploration, Andrea James, know! Or perhaps you would like to be one of those indispensible people serve on vital Committees.
The possibilities and potential for joy are endless. I look forward to seeing you and getting to know you better, as we gather together again!