Sunday, September 19, 2021 11am Live Zoom
Rev. Claudia Jiménez, Minister of Faith Development
Our congregation’s racial justice initiative invites us to consider our commitment to changing oppressive systems. It can be an uncomfortable and joyful journey to explore how we can each act in ways that disrupt racist practices. Join us to hear personal reflections, music and readings about the possibilities before us.
Sunday, September 19, 2021 11am Live Zoom
As we enter the beginning of the new church year and embark on the work of interim ministry together, we are challenged by unforeseen circumstances that keep us from gathering in person. This is disappointing but know that much work is being done behind the scenes to make our return to church as safe as possible. Sadly, Buncombe County has a “Very High Risk” level and large indoor, in-person gatherings are not possible. This Ingathering Greeting from UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray https://youtu.be/RSqmSeyhQ-Y offers UU congregations both guidance and comfort as we navigate these difficult times. She acknowledges that the Delta variant setback has left us feeling frustrated, heart-broken, and exhausted.
We hoped to be in the sanctuary together by September 12 but since that isn’t possible for a while, Rev Claudia, Linda, and I have been brainstorming ways to gather safely outside while the weather permits. The Dedication Ceremony of the beautiful new patio on Sunday, October 3 from 1-3 promises to be lots of fun with a food truck and music. Another opportunity for fellowship and fun is being planned for Thursday, September 16 at 5:30. We will call it “Third Thursday” and while this is still evolving there is a rumor that drumming will be involved.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11, and you are invited to stop by the church from 4-5 pm on Saturday, September 11 to light a candle of memory and hope. Rev Claudia and I will be there, and Les will provide beautiful piano music to honor the solemn occasion.
Our Soul Matters theme for September is Embracing Possibility invites us to consider that “Embracing Possibility has more to do with being a people of vulnerability and courage than we’ve thought. The work isn’t just about believing in possibility. It’s about being willing to endure a few wounds along the way. It can hurt to be hopeful.” Taking care of ourselves and one another needs to be a priority for us right now. The pandemic has shown us what matters most in life, and family, friends and beloved community have moved into a prime priority position for many of us. Margaret Wheatly sums it up best: There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about. Ask: “What’s possible?” not “What’s wrong?” Keep asking. Notice what you care about.
This is just one of many gems of wisdom found in this month’s Soul Matters small groups packet. Soul Matters groups will be starting again in October, but if you are interested in having an experience of a small group but aren’t ready to commit for whatever reason, I’m going to offer a monthly “Taste of Soul” session. Even if you don’t join a small group, the monthly packet is a wealth of resources for self-reflection and exploration. This month we will meet on Sunday, September 26th at 1 pm via Zoom https://uuma.m.us/j/93936564103. I hope you will give it a try!
I look forward to meeting you, and in addition to my Zoom office hours and outdoor UUCA events, we can meet for a walk, a one-on-one Zoom appointment, or share time enjoying the beautiful UUCA campus. Email me for an appointment and join me in embracing the synergy that emerges when we ask one another, “what is possible?”
In faith and love,
I’m Kim Collins, religious exploration coordinator here at UUCA. You’re going to hear a lot about Family Ministry from me this year. So, what does that mean? What kind of family am I talking about? I’m talking about all families. We are all part of a family. Some of us hold tight to our families of origin, others feel love and comfort with their chosen families. Families need not have children in them. Pets definitely also count as family as my pups will attest. I’m not just talking to those of you with children at home, this is for all of us. Every member of this congregation is part of our family.
One of the most important lessons that we have learned during this time is that we need community. The good news is that we have this community that we’ve all been cultivating for years. I think that our community can be stronger than ever. What would it look like if we were all taking care of each other? Would we be able to help each other before the challenges in our lives became emergencies? Our UU faith is not just something that we do on Sunday mornings, it’s how we are in the world. It’s how we are with each other and it’s reflected in our Mission and our covenant to each other.
I want to remind you that UU’s can’t just believe whatever we want. While we all have our own personal relationship with spirituality, we do all share the same values as outlined in our principles. Those shared values are what make us a community and our covenant is what binds us together as a family. Things will never look the same as they did pre pandemic, but I think they can be better. I think we can do better. Our UU identity is a gift we give to the world. Let’s work together to nurture future and current generations of UU’s. Let’s find the joy in taking care of each other.