Minister’s Column July 2018

Dear Ones:

As I prepare for my summer vacation and study leave, there’s a part of me that’s already very excited for the next congregational year. As many of you are aware, January 2019 marks UUS:E’s 50th anniversary. The Policy Board, the Sunday Services Committee, the Endowment Committee, the Memorial Garden Trustees, and many others are beginning to think about how we can turn this anniversary into a meaningful, yearlong celebration. To that end, we need a team of people who can oversee work on the details. Who is interested in being part of the 50th Anniversary Team? It will be fun. Please let me or our President, Rob Stolzman, or our incoming Vice President, Kevin Holian-Borgnis, know if you would like to be part of this effort.

While it is always helpful to review the past, a milestone anniversary year really calls us to pause and look back, to honor our founders, to celebrate the generations. Thus, in the coming year, we will tells stories about what UUS:E was like in the different decades. We will definitely hold a big, multigenerational party. I am sure we will do some special fundraising. However, the most important thing we can reflect on is the nature of the impact UUS:E has had on us and on the larger community. What difference have we made in people’s lives? What would we be like—and what would Manchester and Greater Hartford be like—if that dedicated group of individuals had not come together in the late 1960s to found a Unitarian Universalist congregation east of the Connecticut River?

If we can put words to the difference UUS:E has made in our lives and in the life of the larger community, then perhaps we can also imagine having an even greater impact over the next fifty years!

At the very least, you can expect to be asked, in any number of ways, these kinds of questions: What has been the impact of UUS:E on your life? What do you remember most from the time you first started attending Sunday services at UUS:E, whether at 153 W. Vernon St. or one of the earlier locations? What do you wish for the future of UUS:E?


Now, believe it or not, there is another milestone we may need to celebrate next year. April 2019 is the 20th anniversary of my ordination into the Unitarian Universalist Ministry. Thus, I expect I’ll be doing a significant amount of reflecting on where I’ve been, how I’ve grown, and the impact I believe I have had on UUS:E, on our region, and on Unitarian Universalism. I look forward to this period of historical review.


For now, summer is beginning. Please know I will be traveling with my family and my in-laws to Italy for two weeks in early July. I will continue my vacation and study leave when I return. I will be back at UUS:E to preach on August 5th. Then, as always, I will start slowly returning to regular ministry in mid-August. I wish for you a wonderful summer. I wish for you summer rest and relaxation. I wish for you quality time with family and friends. I wish for you adventures—whatever adventures you need to have. And I cannot wait to hear about them in September!

With love,

–Rev. Josh