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 →

2nd/3rd Grade Readathon

The Journey of Reading to Help the Journey of Healing

“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.”
― Anna Quindlen

Children in the 2nd-3rd grade classroom are raising money to help homeless youth make the journey from homelessness to healing. Each child will be keeping track of each day they read at least 20 minutes during the month of March. People within the congregation will be able to pledge for the combined number of times the children in the 2nd-3rd grade classroom met the reading goal. For example, if 5 children each meet the goal for 31 days, you will pledge for 155 times met. If you pledge .10 cents for each time, your pledge would be $15.50. You can pledge any amount. Even a small pledge can add up if everyone participates! You can also do a flat fee pledge if you want. Money raised will be given to Avenues for Homeless Youth. Continue reading →

From the Board: February 2019

I am one of those rare Unitarian Universalists who grew up in a UU church. One of the most vivid memories I have is going through the Our Whole Lives program. The first gathering was a day of trust building so we would be comfortable talking with each other about uncomfortable subjects. While one person climbed up to a platform about six feet off the ground, the rest of us all stood across from each other with arms bent at the elbow and palms up to make a zipper pattern. Collectively, we would catch the person as they fell backwards from the platform. A perfect way to show how we can support each other and trust that everyone will keep you safe….until you drop the first person….Luckily, she was uninjured, and we got the hang of it as we each went in turn. Like many things in life, earning, giving, and receiving trust is a learning process.

Our relationships to and within UUCM are often described in terms of covenant where promises are made between individuals, between the board and congregation, and between various groups within the community. Trust underlies promises. We make a promise, and the person or group we make it to trust that we will keep it. Inevitably, a promise will be broken, and that will damage or break the bond of trust. Often, it is possible to rebuild trust. Life is a process and we all make mistakes, break promises, and learn from that experience. Sometimes, the harm is too great, and the covenant is broken.

I’m writing this coming out of a day-long leadership retreat in which we discussed the strengths and weaknesses of our UUCM community. Continue reading →

Social Generosity Offering: February 2019

Our FEBRUARY Social Generosity Offering will go to the Philando Castile Foundation. The Foundation endeavors to provide a helping hand to individuals and families affected by gun violence and police violence through meal preparation, financing and funerary assistance, and grief counseling. The Foundation also help the St. Paul and Minneapolis MN school districts pay off negative school lunch balances. Philando worked for the St. Paul school district for over 15 years in food nutrition. Because of Philando’s generosity and continued desire to support the children he worked around, it was a natural transition to sustain that generosity to others after his passing. Visit http://www.philandocastilefoundation.org/ to learn more.

Note: All cash placed in the Sunday collection, as well as checks to “UUCM” with “Social Generosity” in the memo line, will go towards the Social Generosity cause for the current month. You may also use the basket to make other contributions to UUCM. Simply make your check out to “UUCM” with instructions in the memo line.

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 →

UUCM Book Clubs: February 2019

Women Who Read Book Club

Meets on Monday, February 11 at 7:00 PM. Gather at UUCM in the Community Room (the first room you enter from the outside door). We’ll be discussing a few selections this month: We Should All Be Feminists AND Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, both by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Watch a supplemental TED Talk here and Trevor Noah’s interview with the author. Regrets only to billsuemcknight@me.com. If you have questions about the Women Who Read book club, please contact Christy Dachelet. Click here for the 2018/19 book list.

Men’s Book Club

Meets on Tuesday, February 12 at 7:00 PM. Gather at UUCM to discuss the book, Stoner by John Williams. William Stoner begins the novel ploughing fields on his family farm. As steady and reliable as an old carthorse, he thinks simply of the hours ahead, and enjoys his physical toil. However, once Stoner leaves home to study Agriculture, and, as part of the course requirement, English Literature too, he leaves the fields behind for an unlikely life of academia. Stoner’s former life of plodding contentedness is usurped by a gradual build-up of unfortunate happenings that eventually lead to a life of misery. This quietly brilliant book, subtle, slow and painfully real, almost feels like it’s written by Stoner himself. The New Yorker called it “the greatest American novel you’ve never heard of”, and we couldn’t agree more. If you have questions, please contact Adam Schenck or Gary Charles. New members are always welcome.

Monday Morning Book Club

Meets on Monday, February 18 at 11:00 AM. Gather at UUCM to discuss February’s book, Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.

Please direct any questions to Bev Montgomery. New members are always welcome.