Our ministry theme for May is devotion, and while there are many ways to begin discussing this theme, I want to focus this column on what it might mean to be devoted to one’s spiritual community. And to begin, I want to express my heartfelt thanks to two people who have shown extraordinary devotion to UUS:E in recent years.
First, I am so thankful to Mary Ann Handley for stepping in and serving as our president over the past two years. She served longer than she originally expected to serve, and she has guided our board and our congregation through challenging times with grace, clarity, patience and integrity.
Second, I am grateful to Stan McMillen who is ending his second term as chair of the Stewardship Committee. Stan has issued a gentle but persistent call for all of us to practice the virtue of generosity at UUS:E. At a time when congregational giving is declining in the United States, and in the midst of difficult times for the U.S. economy, UUS:E members have by and large maintained or increased their giving. Stan’s leadership has been essential to this trend at 153 West Vernon St.
Mary Ann and Stan: Thanks for your service to our congregation. Thanks for your spirit. Thanks for your love. Thanks for your devotion.
There are many other UUS:E leaders I wish to thank as well, although they are too numerous to mention here. At our annual meeting on the evening of Saturday, May 17th, we’ll have an opportunity to thank and honor all our outgoing leaders, as well as welcome those leaders beginning new terms. I hope you’ll plan to attend and stay for the goods and services auction.
Being a congregational leader is one way we can express devotion to our spiritual community. I know not everyone sees themselves as a leader in this way, but if you have any desire whatsoever to lead, UUS:E is a good place to do it. There are many opportunities. If you have any interest in leadership, please do not hesitate to let me know. If you aren’t sure you want to lead, but just want to ‘test the waters,’ please consider joining a committee. Are you handy and like to tinker? Consider the Building and Grounds committee? Interested in community action? Consider the Social Justice / Antiracism Committee. Whether it’s music, caring for one another, caring for the earth, managing finances, raising money, educating children, working with youth, attending to human resources, leading Sunday services, we’ve got a place at UUS:E to put your talents and passions to use. We’ve got a place for you to be devoted.