November Minister’s Column

Dear Ones:

Our ministry theme for November is change. While there are many ways to talk about change, I want to say a few words about social change. Our UU principles call us to build a more just and loving community. The work of social change is a large part of who we are as a congregation. Thus, as your minister, it’s important for me to periodically name the variety of connections I have to social justice organizations in our region and around the state. Members of the Social Justice / Anti-Oppression Committee get regular updates from me; but most of you don’t attend those meetings, so don’t necessarily know what I am up to.

I am up to a lot. Our shared worship ministry makes this possible. Many of my colleagues prepare worship liturgies and write sermons every week, a process which takes me an average of 20 hours. But with our shared worship model, I only preach twice a month. This sharing of the worship leadership with lay people affords me time to be involved in the wider community. For this reason I remain exceedingly grateful to UUS:E for its shared worship ministry, and especially to the members of the Sunday Services Committee.

What am I up to? Here’s a list:

  • I serve on the Strategy Team of the Greater Hartford Interfaith Action Committee (GHIAA). Note elsewhere in this newsletter that GHIAA is planning a huge “Power Summit” on December 7 at Central CT State University. Can you attend?
  • I serve on the Coordinating Committee of Recovery for All, a statewide coalition of labor, community and faith-based organizations dedicated to expanding state revenue so that more investments can be made in critical public services.
  • I serve on the board of a new Connecticut think tank called “A Better Connecticut Institute,” whose mission tracks very closely with Recovery for All.
  • I provide faith-based support to the HUSKY for Immigrants campaign.
  • I provide faith-based support to the Domestic Worker Justice Campaign.
  • I dedicate time and energy as a faith leader/ally to Moral Monday CT, our state’s oldest Black Lives Matter organization.
  • I dedicate time and energy as a faith leader/ally to Power Up CT, a Manchester-based Black Lives Matter organization.
  • I am participating in Equality Connecticut Clergy, the faith-based arm of Equality Connecticut, the new statewide LGBTQ rights organization.

There’s more, but these are the primary organizations and campaigns to which I dedicate time and energy during the course of the year. I am proud of these connections, and proud that UUS:E and UUism are represented in these critical change efforts. To find out more, consider yourself invited to attend meetings of the UUS:E Social Justice / Anti-Oppression Committee (1st Tuesday of the month at 7:00). Or reach out directly to me to learn more about ways you might participate in any of these efforts.


With love,
Rev. Josh

Rev. Joshua Pawelek