Minister's Notes for the Week of September 1, 2019

Hi GNUUC members & friends!

I’m excited to be talking with you over the next few Sundays about the September topic, “Expectations.”

An interesting way to look at expectations is through the lens of family systems. I will be meeting with a few members to start building a genogram. That’s a family tree that also documents illness, addictions, fusion, and cutoff. Most of these conditions keep us from having productive relationships, either within our family or in other areas of life (including church). There is a way to approach relationships that is healing and life-affirming. Having been a student of Family Systems for over a decade, I can attest that this endeavor is challenging. While I’ve experienced success in my ministries when I use a family systems lens, I do not always succeed in my family of origin! Sometimes, even when we understand what it is that inhibits wholesome family interactions, we still act reflexively when confronted with certain challenges.

The field of human behavior is fascinating and evolving! My experience is that few in the helping professions use Family Systems as effectively as they might. Our chosen community can be a wonderful laboratory for human and spiritual growth; indeed it ought to be!

One area worth considering is that of our expectations as a community. You all have done some very impressive work on crafting policies and creating expectations for one another in relationships! 

And consider this: when folks visit GNUUC, we try to be welcoming and friendly. We answer their questions, invite them to lunch, and engage them in conversations. In what ways do we say not just “welcome”, but “we were expecting you” to GLBTQ+ people? To people with visible and invisible disabilities? To introverts? To young adults and children?

Seth and Cora bonding over the Nintendo Switch.

Seth and Cora bonding over the Nintendo Switch.

I can tell you that when my husband Eric and Seth visited this week, they felt warmly embraced. Although Seth hid in the office and fell asleep during the service, he didn’t feel judged or ignored. After learning that he has a Switch, one of our youth joined him and they had a positive interaction. As a person with Autism, who is usually either ignored or put into situations that make him uncomfortable, I think the message to him was: We were expecting you.

This is important for many reasons, and not only if we hope to grow! For every person that makes it to a service or event, there is a chance to change a person’s life the way UU faith changed yours.

Something to think about! See you on Sunday,


CommunityKris Thresher