From the Board: December 2020

Each month, a member of the board will share a reflection on the Soul Matters monthly theme and the state of the church. The theme for December is Stillness. This month’s post is offered by Cathy Bujold.

We seem to be in a season of stark contrasts.

On the one hand, there is so much silence.  My husband Dan and I spent a quiet Thanksgiving without extended family – without my parents, without our children and grandchildren.  Our church building, built to allow us to gather together and to sing together, is instead silent for the most part.  And then of course there is the silence of those whose lives have been snuffed out by the pandemic . . . and the silent toll this pandemic is taking on all of us . . . Too much silence.

And at the same time, there is so much noise.   The cacophony of the election and its aftermath.  Jarring social media posts.  Incessant clamoring of competing points of view.  The dissonant diatribes of a divided nation . . . Too much noise.

Last Sunday during worship Lois Saunders selected the poem “To Worship” by Jacob Trapp which was read by Gary Charles.  There was a line in that poem that particularly stood out for me. “To worship is to listen in the face of the storm to the still small voice inside.” Continue reading →

From the Board: November 2020

Each month, a member of the board will share a reflection on the Soul Matters monthly theme and the state of the church. The theme for November is Healing. This month’s post is offered by Shelley Buss.

Not so long ago, my daughter Haley was single handedly keeping band-aid companies afloat. I can’t tell you how many times I found bandage wrappers on the bathroom floor, under her bed, under my bed, in her closet… Finally I dropped the hammer and said “Haley Bird, unless there’s flowing blood, hands off”. No more Minion on the back of a hand that was slightly pinker after she banged it against the door. No more Queen Poppy on her toe after stubbing it on the chair.  She was independently self-soothing the best way she knew how when she felt pain. She grabbed a comfortable character, opened it all by herself, managed the stickiness, and applied her fix; a visible reminder that something underneath wasn’t right, but it also was no longer exposed or vulnerable. Continue reading →

Board Update on Anti-Racism Efforts at UUCM

Fred Hulting, President, Board of Trustees
boardpresident@uucmtka.org

After a fast onboarding for our new Minister, the Board and Reverend Lisa Friedman have been focusing this past month on COVID-19 preparedness, planning collaboration on our Developmental goals, and developing approaches for the church to advance anti-racism efforts. In this update I want to focus on the important work on anti-racism.

Because of the efforts of many members, we have seen some great activities offered to the congregation, from the My Grandmothers Hands study groups to efforts by the Social Justice Ministry to collaborative education programs with other area churches. This is a great start to our journey; but it is clear that we need to do more.

As both individuals and as a group, the Board has found it difficult to know how best to proceed; there are many different paths we could take.  Recognizing that we need to get moving and that we may not get it right, the Board has aligned on three next steps.

Continue reading →

Why Doesn’t UUCM Have a BLM Banner on Our Building?

A New Process for UUCM Public Statements
Becky Halat, Board of Trustees

The board has received several communications from members asking what work the church plans to do around anti-racism in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. One specific question that has emerged from some of these emails centers around making a public statement about the BLM movement (most specifically, hanging a Black Lives Matter flag on our building.)

Fred Hulting, our UUCM Board President, recently published an article dedicated to the actions that our church has already taken around anti-racism efforts, as well as encouraging more work to be done. We’re very happy to see that our church community is showing passion and resolve around anti-racism. As a largely white congregation, our privilege is a power that we certainly can’t ignore.

Continue reading →

From the Board: October 2020

Each month, a member of the board will share a reflection on the Soul Matters monthly theme and the state of the church. The theme for October is Deep Listening. This month’s post is offered by Bill Arnold.

Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person they are almost indistinguishable.” – David Augsburger

Last week, I read a description of how different people interpret a simple question. Imagine you are watching TV and someone asks: “What are you doing?”. The simple response, of course, is “Watching TV”. Most likely, however, that was not the actual question being asked. It might have really been “Can I join you?” or “Why are you sitting there when you have a bunch of work to do?”. This is an example of simple versus deep listening. We should be more than just aware of the sounds around us. Listening is recognizing context, processing, contemplating, and considering other points of view. Continue reading →