May 2022 Minister’s Column

Dear Ones:

First: Annual Meeting! I want to remind everyone that our Annual Meeting takes place after the second service on May 15th. The meeting should be relatively short, as we are only voting on the proposed budget and slate of officers, board members and committee chairs. All voting members should have received the call to the meeting in late April. If you are a voting member and you didn’t receive the call, please contact our office.

Second: the 8th UU Principle. It had been our plan to vote at the Annual Meeting on whether or not to adopt the 8th UU principle as a congregation. However, after careful consideration, the Social Justice / Anti-Oppression Committee has recommended that we postpone the vote minimally until the fall. In March we had a wonderful 8th Principle workshop with Paula Cole Jones, but the workshop helped us recognize that May 15th is too soon to hold a meaningful vote. Indeed, a vote this momentous requires that we have many opportunities for study, questioning, learning and debate.

In the interest of generating understanding of and enthusiasm for the 8th Principle, the Social Justice / Anti-Oppression Committee will be offering a variety of avenues for learning. On May 1, following the second Sunday service, they will host a viewing of portions of Paula Cole Jones’ March workshop. They will also provide monthly columns in this newsletter on “Why the 8th Principle Matters to Me,” as well as links to helpful resources in our weekly eblasts.

The 8th Principle calls us to address all the ways various forms of oppression—racism, sexism, ableism, transphobia, etc.—live in our institution, and to truly center the work of confronting oppression in all aspects of our congregational life. This is a challenging but liberating call. But that is also true of the call implicit in the current seven UU principles! I hope you will take the time over the next six months to learn about the 8th Principle and why so many other congregations have adopted it.


Finally, our May ministry theme: Nurturing Beauty. I likely won’t be preaching directly on this theme, so I want to take a moment here to urge you to contemplate that which is beautiful in your life, to surround yourself with that beauty, and to revel, unapologetically, in that beauty. It goes without saying that life has been difficult these past few years, and there is likely more difficulty in the future. But difficulty is not, and never has been, an excuse to deprive ourselves of beauty. Wherever you encounter beauty—in nature, in a meal well-prepared, in the arts, in music, in worship, in meaningful relationships, in community, in a good book, in a unique experience—my prayer for you at the beginning of May, is that you may encounter it in abundance, that it will feed your soul, and strengthen you for whatever difficulties lay ahead.

And if you have a spare minute, please send me a note about beauty at [email protected]. I’d love to learn about the beauty that surrounds you!


With love,

Rev. Josh

Rev. Joshua Pawelek