It’s happening. School supply sales. September and October calendar pages filling up. In the midst of thunder storms and heat, we can’t help but think about cooler nights, autumnal colors, and campfires.

And your Board of Trustees has more than that on its mind. It will be a church year like no other. Just as we begin our search for a new Lead Minister, we lose the man who brought us to this point. We are bereft. We look back and feel emptiness. Ahead is murkiness, obscuring the figure who will join us as we move purposefully into our future.

At the end of the 2020-21 church year, everyone in the congregation was phoned to help identify seven committed individuals, representing some of the variety in our membership, to be our Ministerial Search Committee (MSC). They’ve been studying the UUA guidelines for accomplishing this daunting task. On August 20, we are all invited to join them at a workshop with Rev. Keith Kron, the person at the UUA who helps ministers and congregations find and fall in love with each other. After that workshop, the MSC will never be far from our thoughts as they conduct surveys and conduct small group gatherings to ascertain both who we are and what we’re looking for in terms of our next faith leader. In other words, the MSC is charged with clearing away the fog and bringing into focus the right person for UUCA.

Something else that will be engaging our energies this year is racial justice. The Racial Justice Advisory Council (RJAC) submitted its Summary Report to the Board late last spring. At its August 9 meeting, the Board voted to “accept all the recommendations from the RJAC as submitted” in that report. The Board also committed to “offer guidance/direction” for realizing those 18 Recommendations. One major activity will be studying an 8th Principle to be added to the current 7 Principles of Unitarian Universalism. An 8th Principle Task Force is forming to guide our congregation to “affirming and promoting” this Principle in the covenant between us and all the other congregations in the UUA.

This year is so full of promise, y’all! But promises are empty without actions to move from fine words to meaningful achievements. Each of us is called upon to create the UUCA of radical love and justice for all. We are who we’ve been waiting for to make a better world. Roll up your sleeves!

Mary Alm, UU Asheville Board of Trustees