From the Minister's Study

From the Minister's Study - September 2019

As many of you know, our Director of Lifespan Faith Development, Andrea James, has begun her twelfth year of service with us. She has demonstrated over and over again her dedication to our community and to our shared ministry together. To support her continued growth and learning as our DLFD, the Board of Directors has granted her a four-month sabbatical this year, from the beginning of December to the end of March.

This congregation has worked hard to live into the reality of being a fair and just employer of its professional staff, and one of the ways we do this is by taking into consideration the guidelines given by our professional organizations. In the area of faith development and religious exploration, we turn to the Liberal Religious Educators’ Association (LREDA for short). This is what their guidelines offer us about sabbaticals:

Read more: From the Minister's Study - September 2019

From the Minister's Study - July/August 2019

Well, look at that, it’s summertime again! The wheel of the year has turned again, and we are surrounded by the beauty and blessings of long hours of sunlight and the sights, smells, and sounds of flora and fauna throughout the city and beyond.

Read more: From the Minister's Study - July-August 2019

From the Minister's Study - June 2019

Our theme for this month is Identity. And I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out what exactly I wanted to say to you all about identity, especially in our current culture where the multitude of personal identities and how they intersect with privilege and oppression are so prevalent. And then I realised that so much of how we frame and cultivate and understand the identities we carry is through our personal experiences of the world… and that’s what often makes it so difficult for us to listen to each other’s experiences when they different from each other.

Read more: From the Minister's Study - June 2019

From the Minister's Study - May 2019

While you are reading this in May, I’m writing it near the end of April, after our Easter Sunday service. And I’m writing because I wanted to share with you how moved I was during the musical offertory of that service.

Earlier in the morning, we had done a shared litany using words that had been placed as treasure inside Easter eggs. At the end of the litany, each of us were invited to share our own excitement, joy, hope for the present and for the coming of spring and summer in our own lives and in our congregation. It was a ritual exercise in sharing things that sustain us.

Read more: From the Minister's Study - May 2019

From the Minister's Study - April 2019

We are a community that gathers around shared values, and lives into those shared values through covenants. Covenants are living documents that reflect the promises we are making to each other about how we are going to be with each other. And, because of this, most of the covenants we make as Unitarian Universalists are behavioral.

We have a congregational covenant, for instance, spearheading by the Shared Ministry Team a few years ago. Copies of it are hanging in the sanctuary foyer and in the Pine Tree Room downstairs. We regularly enter into covenants as a congregation with people who are serving in key roles: our Board of Directors, our Faith Development guides, our Pastoral Care Associates. We also have covenants with the parents and guardians of the children in our community, when we dedicate ourselves to them, and with the folks who join our congregation as members. You entered into a covenant with me, as your minister, when I was installed last October. Covenants are about relationships, and relationships are key to who we are and the choices we make as UUs.

Read more: From the Minister's Study - April 2019