From the Minister's Study

From the Minister's Study - July 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 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

From the Minister's Study - March 2019

You’re going to be hearing a lot from me and others this month about our pledge drive, during which we ask for your pledges in order to be able to create our budget for the next fiscal year. And it’s important to remember that our annual budget it not just a series of numbers with some words next to them. A congregation’s budget is a moral document that lays out how we are living into our purpose, with each other an in the larger community. What those numbers, what your pledges translate into is the support of our entire community.

Last Sunday, when the children and youth were asked what they needed to survive, they answered “love” and “truth”. We are teaching people how to care deeply for each other and be good listeners; how to help facilitate and guide safe, loving spaces for learning about ourselves and each other; and also what worship is about and how we create it, over and over again. We are also a fair and equitable employer that lives into a vision of economic justice. All of that is just a taste of what your pledges bring about every year.

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