May 2014 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

The burst of warm weather in early April got me inspired to start thinking about my garden. It was too early to think about actual planting, but I felt like I needed to do something to start getting ready. And it occurred to me that in all the years I’ve been planting a garden here I had never gotten around to tilling it. Oh, I’d turned the soil with a shovel and dug in compost, but the soil had never had a thorough mixing.

So, one Saturday I rented a big roto-tiller and worked my plot over and over until it looked pretty well turned, ready for this season’s planting: all in all a pretty satisfying experience, even though it left my shoulders talking to me that evening.

Reflecting on it, I realized that my experience is not a bad analogy to our spiritual lives. Most of us find a set of beliefs that we settle into pretty comfortably. We find our niche in congregational life and figure that pretty well takes care of things – except when it doesn’t. Life changes, we change. We age, kids go off to school, maybe illness comes, our career path changes, relationships begin or end. And we find that the way we think about our lives shifts, and often without our even quite realizing it we are left with a feeling of spiritual disconnection.

There can be a tendency at times like that to feel as if the world has moved on without us, and then pull back and isolate ourselves. So, I want to be sure that you know that we are here as a community to help, to be with you and help you find a way through.

We need caring, sympathetic people who share our values to walk with us, to help us see a way forward. We gather as a congregation because we know that we can’t do it all on our own, that coming to know our best selves and living with integrity and compassion is the work of a lifetime. It takes working, playing, being together in an intentional community for it to happen.

For you, it may be time for some thorough turning of the soil. So, let us be your roto-tiller. Let us help you find a place to bring your questions, your epiphanies, your discoveries, or your grief, and work them through so that you might reconnect with your own strength, with your own inner light.