October 2017

Dear Congregation,

If you haven’t been to a GNUUC Sunday in awhile, I hope you’ll find your way back to us soon! There are exciting things happening – so much energy and enthusiasm, I am impressed and inspired.

Our first family worship service of the year introduced this church year’s sermon series about the Six Wisdom Sources of Unitarian Universalism, and included a puppet show story offered by our children and youth; special music offered by the Amerine family; and a forgiveness ritual in which everyone was invited to (and most people did) participate. Thanks to all who made this lively service a possibility!

We recently dedicated our Still Springs Playground – it was wonderful to walk back for the dedication and see children laughing and playing – it was a real celebration of life, and I think it says something important about us that our playground and our memorial garden are side-by-side sacred spaces.

Conversations continue with the Nashville Sudbury School about sharing our religious education space; leaders have stepped up to fill roles too long adrift; and your board is creative and focused on policy governance and strengthening the “infrastructure” of a growing, healthy congregation.

Your commitment to our shared ministries continues – and like many churches every team could use more people to share the load. If you find yourself adrift, feeling not quite connected to congregational life, please be in touch with me. Covenant groups are an immediate way of connecting more deeply with others; we have two affinity groups that may appeal to you; and there are many opportunities to serve (in ongoing or one-time projects). Congregational life works well and thrives only when everyone holds up their piece of things, as they can and will, so thank you!

A great opportunity for connection is coming up – we resume our Room in the Inn partnership on November 2nd (and will continue on the first Thursday of every month through March 2018). Thank you to those who have volunteered to be coordinators and have completed the training to do so; there are many roles to make each Thursday a success, including: picking up our guests at Room in the Inn and bringing them to GNUUC; preparing dinner for 10-12 people; setting up 10 beds in the sanctuary (8 for guests, 2 for our innkeepers); being an overnight innkeeper; preparing breakfast and bag lunches; and transporting our guests back to Room in the Inn on Friday mornings (an early commitment, as they have to be back by 6am). We train and follow RITI’s efficient protocol, and it works well! If you’d like to participate in this important outreach program, please be in touch with me (revcme@gnuuc.org) or with our affiliated community minister, Rev. Dr. Michelle Pederson (mdfpederson@gmail.com).  

See our calendar of events for important things happening for the rest of this swiftly-passing year. I look forward to connecting with you soon.

In faith and love,

Rev. Carmen Emerson