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2019-11-21

From the Sabbatical Minister - November 21,2019

Conversations and Community

Sunday will be a day full of sharing – from our traditional cornbread and cider communion, to our stone soup community meal.

I for one love the stone soup story – not just because it means a tasty meal, but because of all it portends for connection and conversation. Relative strangers come together, each bringing what they have, creating something larger and more nourishing for their bodies. In the sharing of food, they create something more nourishing for their souls, too: they create community. And once they’re in community, they can talk about – and do something about – what really matters. They harness the Power of We.

At our stone soup community meal on Sunday, we will have an opportunity to talk about the Power of We in this congregation, in our denomination, and our world. We are at a crucial moment – a moment where we both recognize and are ready to harness the power of our principles, the grounding of our spirits, our call to challenge systems of oppression, and our commitment to inclusion.

But how can we do it? It’s a big task, drawing the circle wider in a time when others would have us tighten the circle and thus cause harm to others. Where do we start? What are our assumptions? What does Unitarian Universalism have to offer us in this work?

Thankfully, we don’t have to answer any of these questions alone – congregations around the country are engaging in similar conversations right now (although I suspect ours is among the most delicious). As a community of communities, we will be charting a new path forward with a common framework for doing this work of building beloved community, all the while asking ourselves “whose voices are heard, who is asked to take risks, how we negotiate our relationships, and what our priorities are as a community?”

The conversations are starting – what the Unitarian Universalist Association is calling “Conversations for Liberation.”  (The full invitation from the UUA can be found here.)

We’ll start on Sunday with some grounding questions – which, by the way, also support the CUUC studies our own Committee on Ministry and our Board of Trustees are taking up on spiritually and inclusion. Over our delicious bowls of soup, we’ll discuss the following:
  • When is a time that you felt “the power of we” in Unitarian Universalism?
  • What is so important in Unitarian Universalism that you would be willing to sacrifice for it?
  • What will it take for Unitarian Universalism to fully embody “the power of we”?
  • Who is the "we" at CUUC that we need to be thinking about?

There will be a discussion outline on each table – as you fill up tables and get settled with your meal, begin the conversation. Tracy Breneman and I will be in the room and available to answer questions as you engage in this conversation.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

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