Here we are amidst candidating week, entering a very exciting time for UU Asheville. If I can’t think of anything to write about, I guess that’s on me! I was thinking of a few different topics. I’m not aware of any hard rules dictating the content of this blog, so I considered detailing a recent experience I had replacing some fiberglass insulation after the washing machine froze, busted, and flooded the basement. Then I remembered one of the UU principles is (and I’m paraphrasing)….Be Kind.
So I’ll spare you that story, and say this: last fall we did our Meet the Moment campaign, to raise our financial giving to meet our operational costs. That campaign was exactly what it needed to be; many in our congregation stepped up and together we reached our financial goal. But more than that, we did so with the understanding that we *were* then in a formative period of transition. In search for a Called Minister, in recovery from the last few years of (fill in your blank here), decline in member engagement, a re-imagining of what it means to be together, and a re-imagining of our work when it is de-centered from whiteness. In short, one of a very few defining inflection points in the history of our church.
Did I say we *were* in a formative period of transition? I think I did. It is perhaps clear to each of us that we *are* still in this period, in this inflection point. In the coming days, we will complete our Vote for the Called Minister, and we will understand where we stand financially from the Annual Giving Drive. The past year has been nothing short of love, labor, and investment in our re-emergence. But our best works lay ahead of us, not behind us. If you happened to be at the gathering on Social Justice with Rev. Audette last evening, you may have noticed it was standing room only. Not the usual couple dozen folks that have been highly active in this area, but a packed room of folks ready to lean in. A simple but powerful testament to our potential and what lies ahead.
And so begins the upward spiral. We lean in, we engage, we give and serve, and the growth happens organically for each of us and for our shared mission of connection, inspiration, compassion and justice.
Will Jernigan, UU Asheville Board of Trustees