June Newsletter

UUCA Connections, our monthly newsletter, includes service descriptions, columns from the Minister, Board of Trustees President, the Director of Lifespan Religious Education and the Assistant Minister. It also includes upcoming events, timely articles, and one page that is devoted to our Earth & Social Justice Ministry discussions and program offerings. Read Rev. Mark Ward’s column below, or click here to read the entire newsletter, and get a better feel for our congregation and how you would fit in!

MINISTER’S MUSINGS from the June newsletter

With the coming of summer, our regular church year winds down. We shift from two weekly Sunday services at 9:15 and 11:15 AM to one service at 10 AM from June 2 through September 1. Many committees and activity groups take a summer pause and life in the congregation generally moves at a slower pace. But we remain busy with a variety of interesting speakers, including a number of UUCA members, whom I think you will really enjoy, alternating with me and Lisa on Sundays, and a multi-age religious education program.

Our practice of worship themes also takes a break for July and August and will resume again in September. This year I’m inviting members of the congregation who have expressed an interest in worship to join me later in June to plan out what our themes might be in the coming year. If this interests you, please tell me and I’ll let you know when we’re meeting.

We close the 2012-’13 worship year in June with the theme of Gratitude. It is the great discipline that teaches us how our lives are interwoven with each other and how important it is to acknowledge all that we receive, earned or not. So, in this moment of gratitude I want to offer thanks to a few people.

I begin with several staff who we will be losing at the end of the church year. Lenora Thom is the longest serving member of our current staff. She arrived here in 1993 when the Music program was in a state of crisis and brought both enthusiasm and a level of professionalism that the church had never experienced before. What most people don’t recognize about Lenora is that not only is she a superb pianist, organist, and choir director, but also she has the rare gift of a sensibility for how music works in worship. It has been a real joy for me to work with her, and I will miss her very much.

Linda Kooiker was the first Membership Coordinator that UUCA ever had, and approached her job from the start with a sense of mission. She remains one of our most effective connectors – the kind of person who helps people connect with each other and the congregation in ways that feed their own spiritual hungers. For many who joined this congregation in the last five years, Linda was the key to helping them feel welcome and find a place here. I’m grateful for all the energy and commitment that she devoted to this important work.

As Early Childhood Coordinator, Melissa Blazen has offered crucial support to our child care workers and juggled multitudes of child care requests with grace. She also played a strong role in developing and expanding our Spirit Play curriculum, a transformative program for early ages. I’m grateful for the deep commitment and a positive attitude she brought to this work.

Asher Zaccagnini has brought creativity and joy to the work of Youth Coordinator. As our teens juggle their busy lives she has helped them stay engaged in their spiritual lives as well, focused not only in their weekly meetings but also in worship and Con gatherings. I’m grateful to have had her a part of this staff.

There are so many thanks to give – including, truly, all of you who have brought your full selves into this liberal religious community and helped it prosper – but I also want to add specific thanks to departing members of the Board of Trustees Juliana Austin, Michael Boing, and Frank Valenti, as well as Kay Aler-Maida, leaving after a couple of years as past president, and especially Sammy Fong, who in two and a half years as treasurer was an invaluable resource in helping us shift much of the routine work of church finances to staff and whose calmness and professional acumen gave us all confidence in the direction we were moving.


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