Dear Beloved UU Casper Members and Friends,
September kicks off our fall season of ingathering. As the weather cools, we will likely see more faces, familiar and new, as people come inside and return from their warm-weather adventures. We will celebrate this coming-together during the September 24th Water Communion Sunday service. Water Communion is a Unitarian Universalist tradition. Participants are encouraged to bring to the service a small amount of water from a place that is special to them. During the appointed time in the service, people one by one pour their water together into a large bowl. As the water is added, the person who brought it tells why this water is special to them. The combined water can symbolize different things to different people: our shared faith coming from many different sources, our principle of world community with peace and justice for all, or recognizing water’s role in our interdependent web of all existence.
On Saturday, September 23rd at 6:30 pm, we will also celebrate ingathering with our Feasting with Friends Potluck. This celebration coincides with the Autumn Equinox and comes two days after the International Day of Peace. We are inviting friends, new and old, to join us. Aside from sharing food, there will be an opportunity for the artistic ones among us to paint a Peace Pole together that will be placed in the front yard. Please invite your friends, family, and acquaintances who would appreciate our company.
Right now, teams of trustees are working on refreshing some of our programs. Elizabeth Jo and Jayne are calling on people who are interested and able to help with our pastoral care offerings and triage capabilities to meet on Sunday, October 1 at 2 pm. Cindy and Megan are working together to write a proposal to the board to reformat the Social Justice Group so that it will be better able to remain active through most of the year. I have also heard whispers of new small group ministry ideas from the Programming Committee and members in the past few months. I’m excited to see which ones come to fruition. Anyone with questions about small group ministry or our other programs should contact Megan Jessup (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org), chair of the Programming Committee.
The Ministerial Relations Committee is also exploring the idea of transitioning from their current model to a Committee On Ministry model. The most obvious cosmetic difference between the two being that they would be a support for the whole of UU Casper’s ministries instead of only for the minister. The most meaningful difference, in my opinion, is that the focus would be on continuously or periodically assessing the quality of our ministries and providing feedback to our leaders more so than being a committee that processes complaints or conflicts. What some churches have, when it comes to conflicts, is a Right Relations Committee, whose duty would be to welcome people back into covenant with one another. Perhaps a Right Relations Committee or perhaps more robust Right Relations policies are something we could explore as we continue in our journey after we’ve had time to tackle the current projects.
Thank you so much to our volunteers – those whose public facing presence at the pulpit is so treasured and those whose non-public facing work is still highly appreciated by those of us who see them. Please, we ask that all of our members pitch in as you are able. If you are ready to get more involved, but are unsure how, please contact me.
With love and heartfelt gratitude,
President, Board of Trustees