March Ministers Column

Dear Ones:

Our ministry theme for March is community. I admit it’s no coincidence that we chose this theme for this month. March is also the month in which we kick off our Annual Appeal. In short, it’s the month when we ask each other to make as generous as possible a financial pledge to UUS:E for the coming fiscal year. March is the month in which we ask each of us to reflect on the value UUS:E holds in our lives. What does this spiri­tual community mean to us? What would we lose if it suddenly disappeared? And just as important, what can we do to make it even more valuable, more precious, more meaningful?

I’d like to share with you some of the things that have excited me recently about our congregation. First, we are slowly building the UUS:E Council of Elders, which I believe will result in UUS:E’s elders being more visible in and integral to the life of the congregation. Don’t miss their March 11th worship service!

Second, speaking of worship, judging from feedback we’ve been receiving, I believe our Sunday ser­vices are as meaningful and powerful as they’ve been in my nine years as UUS:E’s minister. Not only has our lay-led worship been exceptional, but we’ve had some wonderful special guests, including Bishop John Seld­ers for World AIDS Day, Imam Kashif Abdul-Karim speaking about the connections he sees between Islam and UUism, Matt Meyer leading us in drumming and song, and spoken word artist Uni Q. Mical reflecting on restlessness.

Third, we have successfully expanded our Adult Religious Education offerings. My personal favorites include last fall’s course on Howard Thurman led by Bishop Selders, our four-session survey of Unitarian Uni­versalist Christianity, and our showing of the movie “Raw Faith.” (If you missed “Raw Faith,” I would be happy to show it again—just let me know.) I’m also looking forward to “Theology in a Secular Age,” which I’ll be teaching in March and April, and the online book discussion group, “Chaos, Wonder, and the Spiritual Adventure of Parenting.”

Finally, UUS:E members have been present at a number of powerful social justice actions in Greater Hartford, including  the Interfaith Fellowship for Universal Health Care’s Valentine’s Day prayer circle at the SustiNet Cabinet and the Governor’s office, as well as a press conference in support of Sujitno Sajuti, an Indo­nesian immigrant who has been unnecessarily detained by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

UUS:E is growing, not only in numbers, but in the depth and quality of our programming, and in our positive relation to the wider community as a congregation that acts for justice and “stands on the side of love.” Our community is growing! Let’s celebrate our growth! Please mark your calendars! Saturday, March 17th is our Annual Appeal kick-off celebration, featuring great food, music, and fellowship. I hope to see you there.