January 2015 Minister’s Column

Dear Ones:

First, HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope and pray that 2015 will be a good year for you. And no matter what challenges you face in this new year, I hope and trust you will find at UUS:E a place to lay your burdens down – to let others hold them for a while, so that you may regain the energy and strength you need to move through life with integrity and grace.

Now, here are a few things I am looking forward to in the new year:

First, welcoming our new Music Director, Mary Bopp, to UUS:E on February 1st. Mary brings a wonderfully creative spirit, a willingness and desire to take bold, musical risks, and remarkable musical skills and knowledge. A brief introduction of Mary can be found in this newsletter and on the UUS:E website.

Second, working for racial justice. I think regardless of how anyone feels about the high-profile police shootings of unarmed black men and boys in Ferguson, MO, Staten Island, NY, and Cleveland, OH – not to mention the tasering of Luis Anglero in Hartford – there is a new opening in the nation to advance the cause of racial justice. With our Social Justice / Anti-Oppression Committee, I am expecting to work not only for better relations between communities of color and local police forces, but also on deeper, systemic issues confronting communities of color such as mass incarceration and unjust drug laws. Please let me know if you’d like to join in this work.

Third, implementing “full-week faith.” Though much has been said about full-week faith, we (and every UU congregation) are still trying to figure out exactly what it looks like in practice as we attempt to strengthen the multigenerational nature of our congregation. I like the idea of meeting our children and families “where they are,” out in the world: track meets, lacrosse games, plays, recitals, debates, Pokemon tournaments, movies, robot design competitions, disc golf, and much, much more!

Fourth, hosting the Chocolate Auction, Sunday, Feb 8th. No explanation necessary.

Finally, being present as UUS:E ordains Drew Moeller. For those who don’t know Drew, he’s a long-time member of UUS:E who left us a few years ago to complete his ministerial studies and begin working in congregations in New Hampshire. By now, all voting members of the congregation should have received a letter from the Policy Board asking them to vote on January 11th to ordain Drew to the Unitarian Universalist ministry. On the Unitarian side of our UU tradition, congregations have the authority to ordain ministers. Ordination is a sacred and longstanding practice – one that extends back to the first days of the congregational tradition in Christianity. Assuming the congregation votes to ordain Drew, the actual ceremony will take place on Sunday afternoon, April 26.Reverend Joshua Mason Pawelek, Parish Minister, Unitarian Universalist Society: East

That’s a little bit of me. I’d also like to know: What are you looking forward to in 2015!

With love,

Rev. Josh