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 October newsletter
It was right around dusk one day last week when about twenty of us participating in an adult class we’re calling “Discovering a Sense of Place” left the confines of our meeting space in the RE Commons area and fanned out across our campus and nearby. As a beginning exercise, I had invited everyone to take note of what they might see, hear, and feel and to reflect on what those sensations tell them about this place and what responses this stirs in them.
We took note of the shapes of leaves on trees, the buzzing of insects and the scampering of squirrels. We noticed the stream that usually trickles behind our buildings and sometimes roars with floodwater. We speculated on how old the trees on our campus are and debated over their names. But even more, we reflected on the emotional resonance that many of us feel about this place, the way it feels simply to sit in a familiar space, to bring to mind this ever-changing community that we cherish and the hopes that we feed by being a part of it.
This is one dimension of the journey I’m inviting you to join me in this year as we work through our overall theme, “This is Water.” It is my hope that together we might develop disciplines and look beyond distractions to see the truth and beauty that is around us. As I suggested last month, this begins with awareness of what’s around us, of what occupies our physical space, and also how we relate to it and each other. This month we’ll look at some of those distractions, what David Foster Wallace calls “default settings.” These are just standard ways we have of looking at things that limit our growth and understanding. Check out resources on this subject that will be posted on our website the first week of October, and then why not join a Theme Group and share some of your thoughts on the subject?
Take some time for wandering this fall to drink in the wonder of this place where we are located. Join conversations that connect your heart with others and awaken gratitude for life and the community that we continue to build.