Change: Hard, Challenging & Scary

A good friend of mine got engaged to his girlfriend about ten years ago– both of them were wonderful people, and they were a great match.  About six months after their engagement though, he began to exhibit a bizarre string of behaviors that were totally out of character for him. He began to do and say disrespectful – and sometimes outright mean – things to his fiancé. His fiancé didn’t get it, and we his friends didn’t get it either.  We all knew this guy to be a thoughtful considerate person, and he clearly loved his fiancé. So why was he all of a sudden acting like such a jerk? When some of us tried to talk to him about it, he couldn’t explain it or understand it either.  He told us he still loved his fiancé, that he was excited to marry her, he just kept having these inexplicable bursts of anger at her. Finally, thankfully, one of our more insightful friends figured out that his acting out started right after the couple had begun intensive work on planning their wedding, and a lightbulb went off. This realization allowed our friend to become aware of and name some of the deep fears and anxieties he had about marriage. Once he was able to be with and feel those feelings, the destructive and sabotaging behaviors melted away, and he and his fiancé were able to move forward with the wedding planning in a way that was meaningful to them both. Their
Read More

Looking to the Future

Friends, we have so much to celebrate as a congregation.  Our church community is strong – we have been incredibly active the past three years that I’ve been here, and by all accounts this is a continuation of the active and healthy nature of our community for quite a while.  Among many, many other accomplishments over the past three years, we’ve put on a new roof and put solar panels on that roof, we’ve create new mission and visions statements, we’ve upgraded our communications and technology infrastructure, and we’ve increased our giving, both in our stewardship campaigns for the church as well as to other organizations in the community. I see us now moving into a stage of looking to the future.  Our mission and vision work last year set the stage – our mission statement of “Exploring faith. Practicing inclusivity. Living justice.” points us in the direction we need to be heading.  The challenge for us now is how do we live into our mission statement?  Concretely, on the ground, what does it mean for us to be called to explore our faith?  What does it mean to practice inclusivity on a day to day basis?  What does it look like to live justice in our lives?  Those are questions we’re going to have to wrestle with and grapple with, true to the nature of Unitarian Universalism. Fortunately, some answers are already starting to arise organically.  Our Grounds Vision task force, for example, has been asking a lot of terrific questions
Read More