December 2023 Letter from President Cindy

President Cindy at Pride Parade 2023

Dear Beloved UU Community of Casper,

Happy New Year! 2023 has been a very full year for us. We have weathered big changes and the spirit of our community has started to shine brighter. We have pulled together and are expressing our creativity. In the past few months, friends of UU Casper have stepped up to lead some fascinating services (such as Ray Doraisamy’s service on Nov 12th and Doug Starks’s upcoming service on New Year’s Eve). My hope is that we will continue to get better and better at empowering our members and friends to co-create that container of spiritual growth we tend each Sunday morning. We have some interesting monthly themes coming up – please check the bulletin board or talk to Megan Jessup for information on how to get involved with Sunday services.

This year we have launched new ministries and started to reboot long-time ministries that fell dormant. The Social Justice Group has been revived under a new name, the Justice & Equity Group (J&EG). The first quarterly meeting will occur during the January 6th Community Night and will feature a discussion on “Homelessness in Casper.” At least one of our members has been involved in focused work on homelessness in Casper, so it should be a fruitful conversation! Speaking of Community Night, after a few weeks of trial weekly gatherings, the Programming Committee has settled on keeping Community Night as a monthly potluck gathering. They will occur the 1st Saturday of each month, the same day as most Book Club discussions. Contact Megan Jessup  (Programming Committee chairperson) if you’d like to host one of our Community Nights.

The Care Circle has also been revived, with one meeting so far, and hopefully more activity will be seen soon. Liaisons from the board, Elizabeth Jo Otto and Jayne Jacobs, will be leading the next leg of development for the Care Circle. If you’d like to participate in Care Circle or have questions, please contact them. Another new ministry, focusing on joy, celebration, and inclusivity, is Saturday Sing-Along, led by Jayne Jacobs. It takes place on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays. I have been to a number of these and it has been fun to gather together, sing songs, and do other musical activities. Eclectic Meditation Group has moved from two monthly Saturday gatherings to a single gathering at noon on second Sundays after coffee hour. Please don’t hesitate to invite your friends to any of these activities, because each one represents a different flavor of our community and they are all open to the public.

These ministries are not set in stone. Each of them is co-created by everyone involved. If you have an idea or way you’d like to bring in your own unique twist, please contact the responsible person for that ministry and work with them. There’s always a little on-the-fly work (such as cleaning up), creative work, or administrative work to do to keep our community going (more ideas). So, when you reach out, make your talents and interests known. We never know how we might find synergy when we work together. With each of us, the culture of our community evolves, and that is a beautiful and welcome thing.

We are also working on mission alignment, meaning we are doing the work of aligning our activities with our stated mission. The Ministerial Relations Committee (MRC) is exploring a change in scope to a Committee on Ministry (CoM), because the MRC model relies on having a minister and this group would otherwise be dormant. In June, at the Annual Congregational Meeting, we will likely see a proposal to formally transition the MRC to a CoM. Overall, a CoM assesses a congregation’s ministries and offers useful feedback to leadership toward the goal of mission alignment and continuous improvement. They have already sent out surveys to the responsible people for many of our ministries in an effort to learn more about where each ministry is currently at and would like to go.

As a community with a mission at its center, it’s important to ask ourselves from time to time if we are aligning our efforts with our mission. How are we cultivating inclusive fellowship? Are we engaging with other faith communities? Are we sharing with each other ways to make ethical living easier to do? As we come together, whether at Book Club or coffee hour, let’s keep having these conversations, because we all benefit from the feeling of purpose that comes from seeing how our ministries and volunteer work come together to serve each other and the wider community in the context of our mission.

With all of that said, I hope in the next year you will reach out to each other in fellowship. Updated directories have been distributed digitally, and the physical prints are at our community building waiting to be distributed by Membership Committee members this Sunday. It’s not too late to be added to the directory or to get one! Membership will be sending out occasional addendums as people are added to the directory. The Membership Committee is also putting together a second directory to compile a list of partner organizations, prior guest speakers, and other UU Casper allies. If you have any names we should add to the list, please email me ASAP ( with the contacts’ names, any organizations they are affiliated with, contact information (if you have permission to share it), and notes on their affiliation with UU Casper. 

Thank you, all, for a beautiful 2023. Your leadership team will keep working on building trust and finding ways to serve as effectively as possible. If you are interested in leadership, or getting involved in any way, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. 

With love & compassion,

Cindy Wright

President of the Board of Trustees, 2023-2024