From the Board: March 2021

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 March is Commitment. This month’s post is offered by Shelley Buss.

There’s the old saying that if you want to know the difference between involvement and commitment, look no further than a breakfast of bacon and eggs; the chicken is involved while the pig is committed.

Commitments have substantial expectations built into them. Raising children, entering marriage, and prioritizing our health/well-being are common commitments we make in our immediate sphere. We’re constantly face to face with them every time we look in the mirror, or set the dinner table. We all start out with the best intentions, because who wants to break a commitment, right? It’s just that commitments get harder and harder to fulfill as time goes on, for as many reasons as there are days.

Using the analogy of a garden, the effort you put into watering your plot has a direct impact on what you grow. Yet you can do the work, and then a fluffle of bunnies finds your space, or lightning topples the neighbor’s tree in the middle of it all. Commitments aren’t impossible but they can be unpredictable. Commitments will be as meaningful as the basis upon which they are made. The strongest are based on the truths and values we hold closest to our hearts and minds, along with grace to allow space for our humanness. When we commit to something, we are recognizing the inherent value of it in our life and saying “yes” to it. Continue reading →

From the Board: February 2021

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 January is Beloved Community. This month’s post is offered by Fred Hulting.

On January 18 I attended the 31st annual Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday breakfast in Minneapolis. I was one of 6,000 people at the virtual event, which is jointly sponsored by the United Negro College Fund and General Mills.  A highlight of the event was a moderated Q&A with Bernice King, the CEO of the King Center, and the youngest daughter of Martin Luther King Jr.  She spoke about Beloved Community and was eloquent and forceful in her calls for equity and justice. As I sit down to write this column, her words are the first thing that comes to mind.

In speaking about beloved community, Bernice King reminded me that it “means including people who believe differently; it is not just a group of like-minded people and it is not without tension.”  Getting there is not easy; becoming inclusive requires cultural and social change, but it is “a personal journey first…and so it is spiritual. It follows a love-centered path, where love means implementing the demands of justice. We must have the courage to come out of our silos and seek experiences that transform us.Continue reading →

Making a Public Statement on Black Lives Matter

Fred Hulting, Board President

The Board recently received a proposal for UUCM to make a public statement regarding Black Lives Matter, to be accompanied by a banner outside the church.  Per our By-Laws, this statement must be approved by the congregation at a special meeting.  Below I will discuss what will happen and how you can get involved.

Continue reading →

From the Board: January 2021

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 January is Imagination. This month’s post is offered by Becky Halat.

Keeping Imagination Alive

What a year 2020 was. As we look back, we certainly see that 2020 put us in places we never expected. And now that we’re in a new year, we know that even after 2020, there’s no returning to normal, because normal changed, and so have we.

We’ve watched in doomscrolling amazement as crises have stolen the open spaces of our imaginations. COVID-19 has changed and taken lives across the globe. George Floyd’s murder turned our hometown into ground zero for a global racial justice protest movement. And on top of that, we had a contentious election in an incredibly divided nation and this week, a violent and anti-democratic attempt to undermine that election at our nation’s capital. It’s a lot to process, and all of it has changed our world. Continue reading →

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 →