Mark-office-2016For a congregation of our size – around 500 adult members – it can be a challenge for people to find that niche where they can connect with others. Sunday mornings are busy times with inspiring worship and religious education. But it is daunting to try to make any meaningful connections with others. And those are the connections that really feed us, that give us the experiences of depth that we hope to find in a religious community.

So, we on staff give quite a bit of thought to helping create opportunities for people to meet, interact and go deep. Around 140 of us just returned from one of the biggest get-togethers that we have each year to do that: our annual weekend congregational gathering at The Mountain in Highlands, NC.

We’ve been organizing gatherings there for several years (thanks to the leadership of Larry Wheeler), and I think this year was the best so far. Not only was our attendance the largest ever, but there was a wonderful energy among us. There were workshops and activities to reflect, create and have fun and lots of opportunities to explore the stunning natural beauty of the place. But best of all it was an occasion to get to know people of all ages in a relaxed, informal setting, Especially for the many who are newer to our congregation, it was a welcome chance to mix, get to know each other’s children and make new connections. Sound good? You bet. So, mark your calendar now for our next congregational gathering: October 11-13, 2019.

In the meantime, many other opportunities here await you, beginning with the UUCA Auction this coming Saturday as well as dinner circles, covenant groups, Wednesday Thing classes and activities, social justice volunteering, and more. If you’re excited about an activity that isn’t going on right now, let us on staff know, and we’ll be happy to work with you to see if we can get a group started.

This is at the heart of what we do. It is also the beginning of all hope, of all joy: coming together with others to know and be known, to give life to our passions and in gathering realize the possibility of a better world, a better life for us all. As the song says, “From you I receive, to you I give. Together we share, and from this we live.”

Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister