From the Board: October 2019

The theme for October is “belonging” – an affinity for a place or situation.  Both intuition and research show that people need to feel a sense of social connectedness, and that belonging comes with feeling that one is an accepted member of a group.

Considering that humans evolved for tens of thousands of years living in small tribes, it is not surprising that belongingness and social connectedness are an integral part of the normal human psyche.  Tribe membership increased a human’s chances of survival from starvation, predation, and violence by neighboring tribes. Selection pressures for connectedness and belongingness were probably intense.

Abraham Maslow’s influential theory on the hierarchy of needs identified our physiological needs for food, water, and warmth as superseding our psychological needs.  But subsequent research has shown just how fundamental our need for social connection and belonging are, and how important the fulfillment is to healthy human psychology and functioning. Continue reading →

Sign Up Invitation: Board of Trustees Listening Sessions

CLICK HERE to sign up!

Sunday, October 27 from 11:30am to 1:30pm (September 29 session is now full)
You are invited to sign-up for one of the listening sessions in which Board members will ask questions and listen carefully to your answers to gain a deeper and broader understanding of where the congregation is being called.  This will be a fun activity done in a World Café style where you’ll be able to share your views and interact with others in the congregation in small groups. Childcare and lunch will be provided. Sign-up online at the church website or in-person at the sign-up sheet in the Community Room.

From the Board: September 2019

September’s theme is “Expectations,” a theme of particular interest to me as a new board member. I’ve been a member of UUCM for over two years now, and have been so happy to find such a caring and welcoming community.

“Expectations” is a big word, with many resonances. What does the congregation expect of me in this new board role? What are the other board members’ expectations? And what about the interim ministerial team? I could quickly get overwhelmed—and not merely by a string of rhetorical questions.

Certainly, there are the basic expectations, like going board meetings and being an active member of church life. Those are obvious, and I’m sure there’s more to it than that. It’s good to expect things from each other, and to hold each other accountable, to hold oneself accountable. Continue reading →

From the Board: July/August 2019

As our tiny blue-dot home passes the summer solstice, I am thinking of calendars. For over five-thousand cycles, this day has been marked by the sun apparently “rising” over the heel-stone at Stonehenge.  Although Copernicus’ heliocentric  heresy has morphed into Hawking’s history of time , this solstice remains one of our most easily marked points in our recurring journey around our sun.  Here on land held sacred by the first people before us and fifty cycles since we sailed a shiny ship to the moon,  we mark the beginning of our church fiscal year – July, 2019 to June, 2020. And, like those before us, we make plans.

During four months of congregational conversations (“Planting Possibilities”) in 2017 we refreshed our vision, mission and ends statements. At that time, looking forward to the completion of our new building and wondering how we would use it to realize our highest and best, we listened to each other’s stories. We shared our personal “spiritual journeys” in coming to this time and place. Some of us had come from families of UU congregations. Many of us had come through disaffections with other religious traditions. All of us carried baggage from our travels. Like Caesar’s legions before their battles, we set down our baggage (he called them “impedimenta”) and took inventory. We found words and metaphors which had served and/or wounded us.

We lifted up these powerful words. We embraced our ambivalence about them.  Our hope was to desensitize ourselves to words that can impede our ability to join others in solidarity for shared values and action. Continue reading →

From the Board: June 2019

The UUA Soul Matters topic and theme of worship for the month of June relates to beauty; the written material in the curriculum is rich and inspiring. It starts with asking: “What does it mean to be a people of beauty?

UU minister Sean Parker Dennison writes, “The ability to see beauty is the beginning of our moral sensibility. What we believe is beautiful we will not wantonly destroy.”  With this we are reminded that beauty does more than soothe and heal. It demands. It calls. It creates commitment. It doesn’t just say “Love and appreciate me.” It says “Protect me! Fight for me!” It steps out in front of us and points to a precious world that needs our help. It paints a picture of new ways of living and declares, “Follow me there!” It’s not just the thing that nurtures our activist efforts. It is the reason we take to the streets. (p.1)

Last Sunday at church, I sat beside a woman who looked familiar, but I did not know her name. After the service, we sat and talked, and she introduced herself and said she had been coming to UUCM off and on for many years, but that today was the first time she had attended a service in our new building. Continue reading →

From the Board: May 2019

The theme for May is “curiosity” – a strong desire to know or learn something.  When I read this definition, I thought I could see an immediate connection between curiosity and open-mindedness. I had to see whether others found a similar connection.

The website, SelfGrowth.com’s, contributor Rikky Maas observes,

When you’re curious about something, you keep an open mind. Being curious is a state of wonder, in which you look for answers about the unknown. Asking questions about things is the direct opposite of judging things. Imagine how much kinder the world would be if everybody went ‘Ah what’s this? How does that work? What can this do?’ instead of ‘I like this, I don’t like that, that’s stupid’.

When you’re curious, you’re okay with not knowing. You embrace a certain insecurity, and it takes strength to do so. It’s much easier to hide behind fact, opinion or thought, whether false or true. You have to be okay with being vulnerable. It takes tremendous courage to show yourself unknowing. It takes courage to have no belief to hold on to. Continue reading →

From the Board: April 2019

The theme this month is Wholeness.  As I was assigned to ponder wholeness, I got stuck.  What is it to be whole?  What is it to have holes?  What does it mean to be whole?  I know I do not have any unneeded holes or I’d be leaking, so I must be whole.

One of the biggest things I appreciate about being part of our congregation is that it is a place where we can ask questions.  It is expected that as individuals, we do not have all the answers.  Collectively, we are much stronger, smarter, and able to see more possibilities while forming our own point of views.

As you may know, I spend a lot of my chosen church time with the youth.  I knew I needed their help to answer my questions about wholeness. So I asked Star and Devon about what is it be whole and of course, their answers were quite insightful. Continue reading →