In the Interim: 2/15/2019

From Trust to Journey

arif-mamdani“My battery is low and it’s getting dark.” In case you missed it, those were the Opportunity rover’s last words to NASA. NASA officially declared Opportunity’s mission completed on Wednesday, ending a 15-year mission that lasted far beyond the 90 days that Opportunity was designed for. In a way, Opportunity was declared “dead.” I teared up reading the story about Opportunity’s end. I couldn’t help but imagine the hundreds, if not thousands of people who worked on the project, a project that for some unexpectedly became the work of a lifetime. What was it like for them that this journey had come to an end?

I also couldn’t help but think about what a great story it is for us to reflect on as we move out of our theme of Trust and into our theme of Journey. Continue reading →

In the Interim: 2/8/2019

terri-burnorLast Sunday, Rev. Meg shared the acronym B-R-A-V-I-N-G coined by Brené Brown to describe seven elements of trust. Brown created this checklist because, as she writes, “it reminds me that trusting myself or other people is a vulnerable and courageous process.”

(Here’s a handy PDF of the acoynym that we can reference throughout the month as we deepen into the theme of trust.)

It can be hard to trust our own selves with the truths we bury deep inside. Creating spaces that open doorways into those truths is part of the work of this faith community. We do this in worship, through words, music, silence, images, ritual. We do this by building relationships, through our presence to each other during the joys and the sorrows of life, and by bearing witness to the injustices all around. We open doorways when we practice listening and practice sharing, when we ask questions, and when we strive for curiosity and openness.

Part of why I love small group ministry so much is how it can offer a beautiful container of trust — a space that can give us the strength, support and courage to go deeper within. Continue reading →

In the Interim: 1/25/2019

meg-rileyI’m really excited about an upcoming worship service and I hope you will be, too!  On February 10, we are going to welcome new members into the congregation AND dedicate new babies and children to the congregation.

I was shocked to learn, when I asked the Worship Arts Ministry team when the last child / baby dedication had been held, that a number of people on the team could not ever remember seeing one!  So let me describe it to you a bit. Continue reading →

In the Interim: 1/18/2019

arif-mamdani“You are perfect just as you are… and you could use some improvement.”

This quote, attributed to Zen teacher Suzuki Roshi captures what I often think of as the essence of who we are as Unitarian Universalists, and the invitation into possibility that church extends to us.

“You are perfect just as you are” speaks to our Universalism, saying that each of us is perfect solely by the fact of our existence. It says that we need do nothing at all to have a full measure of worth and dignity; of the right to love and to be loved.

“And you could use some improvement” speaks to me of our Unitarian leanings. Insisting on the wholeness of God and our wholeness reflected back. Admitting that as imperfect human beings we are not yet wholly whole. Inviting us into the possibility that one of our purposes in this “one wild and precious life” is to pursue that wholeness through the pursuit of greater spiritual depth, growth, and spiritual maturity. Continue reading →

In the Interim: 1/11/2019

terri-burnorPossibilities as multitudes — that’s one way of thinking about this month’s theme. The limitless choices, options, paths, directions, opportunities that can be available to us. The reaches of imagination. The breadth of ideas. The vastness of what can happen. The web of connections and relationships. The myriad ways we learn and experience. Possibilities can be energizing and exciting. They can also be daunting and confusing. For some people and for some times in one’s life, we also know that possibilities can, in fact, be quite limited or restricted.

But the wideness of possibilities isn’t the only way. Possibilities can also run deep. Possibility in singular. One possibility that is explored to its depths, past all that we thought we knew, past our boredom or complacency, past our expectations, into new realms of understanding and ways of being.

The community of UUCM is invited into this possibility of depth. Through the end of the church year, we haven chosen to focus on just two adult programming areas — Soul Matters and Beloved Conversations. Continue reading →

In the Interim: 12/28/2018

meg-rileyI love reading about the history of when the new year starts.  As usual, men in power bickered amongst themselves about how to shape reality to their preferences, and in  1582 Pope Gregory introduced the Gregorian calendar, first to the Catholics and then eventually adopted by everyone.  I love that Greece didn’t accept it for years after everyone else did.    And I especially like knowing that, historically, “the new year” has been all over the place.

Continue reading →

In the Interim: 12/21/18

arif-mamdaniAs I write this, I’m looking out the window at the rapidly melting snow around our church home. It’s a little gift really, this “preview” of spring, especially since we know that there’s sure to be more snow and cold right around the corner. Still, the absence of snow has made it hard for me to feel like it’s Christmastime. But then I come to church. I see the holiday decorations up all around the building. I see the sanctuary set up for the Solstice service. I notice the tree which played a starring role in our holiday pageant. I see the candles in the windows, shining a beacon of the warmth and community that this church is. And most of all, I remember all of you. The smiles of welcome as you greet each other on Sunday. The handshakes and embraces as you hear and share difficult news. The parents, holding young ones on laps or in arms, swaying as we sing together the songs of this season. I see all of these things and I know it is in fact, Christmas.

Christmas means different things to different people. We here at UUCM celebrate it in different ways, or not at all – Continue reading →