Photo of Rev. Dr. Cathy HarringtonAs 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 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 ZoomI 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,
Rev Cathy