October 2016

This year we are “Singing the Journey” with each monthly theme highlighting one of our hymns. We are also Singing the Journey together as we search for a new Choir Director to fill the big shoes our beloved Kevin McKinney leaves behind after so many years of serving, most as a volunteer. I know I will be forever grateful for his generous contribution of time, talent, energy, and expertise. I am also grateful that we all stepped up to acknowledge this professional position by making this a priority for our staffing plan. I know that UUCG has been proud to be working towards being a fair compensation congregation, and this is a strong step towards that goal.

As the Choir Director Search Team (Bill Benshoof, Debra Greenwood, Shea McQuain, Lydia Patrick and I) seeks a new Choir Director to start in 2017, we are Singing the Journey with our guest Choir Directors on loan to us once a month from neighboring UU congregations. This is such a fabulous example of how congregations step up to hold one another in shared covenant. I hope we will have opportunities to pay it forward over the coming years. You will want to be sure to show up on October 16 for our next guest Choir Director, Amber Fetner from the UU Fellowship of Athens.

October 16 is also the day of our annual pledge drive kick-off. The music is going to rock! We’ll be Singing the Journey towards our vision as we blend our voices in song and conversation and work in harmony to build our beloved community. We’ll strike a note of gratitude with every generous pledge of support we receive!

October’s theme is “Let This Be a House of Peace.” As we enter the last weeks of this presidential campaign in the United States, tension is likely to rise. Many people feel the stakes are very high. Some feel that our system is so broken that voting is an exercise in futility, and others feel the obligation to vote deep in their bones. While it can be tempting to assume that all Unitarian Universalists have “like minds” we actually don’t…. we do, however, have kindred spirits, shared values, and promises we strive to keep.

Our covenant is to walk together with trust, compassion, and inquiry. I encourage each of us, including myself, to ask questions rather than try to persuade; seek to understand before being understood; and, if you don’t want to engage in a conversation about an election issue or a candidate, respectfully request another topic of discussion. We all need to be sensitive to one another as a people of faith seeking the best ways to live our values in the world. We will each have different ways we choose to do this. Let this be a house of peace, let yourself be a house of peace, and may that peace radiate out to all the places in which you engage over the next few weeks.

With a loving and grateful heart…
Reverend Jan

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