My core theology is this: we need each other. There are things we get from being together in a faith community sharing vulnerabilities, strengths, stumbling, soaring, joys, sorrows, discovering, learning, forgiving, encouraging, learning, and grace -- especially grace -- that don't happen the same way in any other community, in my experience. I think it has to do with expectations, and covenant, and believing in the original blessing of life.
People find their way into UU congregations because they are seeking something: understanding, community, encouragement, belonging, connection to something larger than themselves, an opportunity to consider life’s deep questions with people they can trust.
December finds us mid-way through our third year together, and I remain grateful for our shared ministries at Greater Nashville UU. I’ve been reading about gratitude lately, in our personal lives and in our congregational lives, and I was struck by this quote from Peter Steinke’s book, Healthy Congregations: A Systems Approach:
As I write this I’m reveling in the great weekend we just experienced at GNUUC: Friday and Saturday, after weeks of planning and advertising and coordinating by Mike Morgan, Sandy Blanz, and their dedicated team of helpers, our annual indoor yard sale was a wonderful success!
As a child growing up in Arkansas, 3 things signified that summer was really, truly here: catching fireflies in old pickle jars (with holes punched in the lids, of course!); sitting on the back porch steps to eat my grandfather's homemade banana ice cream; and endless hours of play, twilight the final call to go inside -- tired, dirty, happy -- for a bath and all our family's good night rituals, including night time prayers, our clean little hands dutifully folded in earnest gratitude for a good day.
Our “Soul Matters” theme for the month of April is “Transformations” – and this season of deep changes seems an apt time to share one of my favorite poems that speaks to the heart of this profound human work we get to do together in covenantal community.