Words of Joy – June 2015

Words of Joy                     Interim Minister’s Column

I wish to begin my summer well; to do something in it worthy of it and me; to transcend my daily routine…to have my immortality now…in the quality of my daily life!”

–Henry David Thoreau

As this transitional “church year” comes to a close and the summer approaches, I look back at the year just past, and see that much has been accomplished. Many of you attended the start-up workshop presented by District Executive Josh-Searle-White, and many attended the six cottage meetings I facilitated—all of which contributed to an understanding of what issues and challenges are currently facing this congregation. The cottage meetings also explored future hopes and dreams.

In November, we celebrated  the 60th anniversary of this congregation, with former members returning to celebrate with us, three past presidents sharing highlights of their tenures as president, and eight new members joining us during the service that day, all followed by a scrumptious lunch. The recent pledge drive, launched with a festive brunch after a service, was a success, with more being raised in pledges than the modest goal that was budgeted, which will mean that less will have to be taken out of savings to cover the costs involved in the search for a new minister.

We welcomed a total of 11 new members into the congregation this year, and we continue to hold monthly informational orientation meetings for newcomers and visitors. Also this year, we hosted a Small Group Ministry program, with two groups gathering on a regular basis with a structured format to discuss topics of interest and to share personal journeys. Another small group will run over the summer, and the program will begin again with two or more groups in the fall.

Other special activities included an evening celebrating the contributions of Pete Seeger, noted folk musician and Unitarian Universalist, a workshop put on by the Multi-Cultural Anti-Racism Alliance exploring hidden bias in our communications and ways to be more inclusive and welcoming, and a dedication of our new Little Free Library, which stands at the entrance to the church as a free public book exchange featuring books for children and teens and books for adults on parenting.

At the end of April, a Ministerial Search Committee was elected, which has begun an intensive year of work that will result in the calling of this congregation’s next settled parish minister. While the search for a settled minister proceeds, I will continue to serve as your interim minister. I look forward to another year of ministry among you.

I will begin my summer by attending the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association and UUMA Ministry Days from June 21st to June 29th in Portland, Oregon. I will be in the office the week following GA and will speak on July 5th. After that I will be on summer leave. I can be reached in an emergency through the office or via email.

Have a wonderful, renewing and restful summer!

Fondly, Joy