From the Sabbatical Minister - January 30, 2020

Sometimes a weekly missive from the minister is a long, well formed, well executed exploration of a topic – whether it’s something happening in the world or the congregation, or an exploration of an idea, a theology, or a piece of art.

Sometimes, a weekly missive from the minister is a series of ideas, none worth more than couple of paragraphs, but all interesting and important. A buffet of blog bits… A smorgasbord of salient snippets…. A flight of fanciful factoids… An avalanche of alliteration… thus, I offer you some thoughts that are on my mind, in no particular order:

Building as Mission Statement

On Sunday, our building team will hold an informational session about the upcoming building renovations – renovations that include adding accessible bathrooms, better ramps and accessible entrances, access to the main sanctuary, a ramp up to the chancel. These changes are important and much needed, for many reasons – including the needs of those who already need a more accessible space, but also for those who may come to our doors needing more accommodations, as well as those members and friends who may someday in the future need them.

More, it becomes an important statement of who we are and what we believe. The architecture of this building speaks of a love of nature, innovations, creativity, and beauty. But it makes some underlying assumptions about who is welcome – accessibility accommodations send a signal, right off the bat, that you actually are welcoming everyone into your space, however they move to get in. Making your spaces accessible tell people without words that ‘we built this with you in mind’ and ‘we want you to enjoy our space as much as we do.’ That matters. By investing in this project with your time, talent, and treasure, you are affirming the extravagant welcome that CUUC promises to offer.

This Month’s Theme: God

When Rev. Meredith gave me the list of themes for the year, I was simultaneously delighted and daunted by the idea of talking about God with you this month; I’m grateful for the opportunity to share what I hope is a wide-ranging set of resources in On the Journey, as well as a three-part sermon series on Unitarian Universalist understandings about God.

Whatever your reaction to the word “god” – I hope you will engage with curiosity and wonder. The readings and the services are meant to spark your thinking about how you understand your own theology, as well as how we might speak to others about theirs. I invite you to be curious and turn to wonder; if your reaction to this theme is negative, ask yourself “I wonder why I’m reacting this way” and follow those thoughts. Let your inner teacher guide your exploration into your religious past, your current theologies, your assumptions, your stories. I am not saying you will suddenly become a theist if you’re an atheist, but I invite you to be curious and open as we look at this topic.

An Incomplete and Utter History of Unitarian Universalism

After a conversation with staff this week, I decided to share one of my favorite things with you – a one-hour survey of the history of our faith, spanning over 2,000 years on a whirlwind, madcap adventure. We’ll hold this session after the service on March 8th; I promise it’ll be informative and funny.

Eight Weeks Left

Yes, friends, we have just eight weeks left of the sabbatical! We’ve been doing a lot of good things, with some good stuff still to come. By the beginning of March, we’ll be prepping our Welcome Back Rev. Meredith plans and recapping the good work we’ve begun together. By then, we’ll also have a report from the Committee on Ministry’s study of our theology and spirituality, a firm plan for the building renovations, be in the midst of a stewardship campaign, and more. I hope you’ll spend some time this month thinking about what we’ve done together – what you’ve liked, what you haven’t – so that you are ready for Rev. Meredith’s return.

One Final Note

Thanks to all who sent book recommendations; I have quite a list and will not lack for good reading material.

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