Good news! Your staff has new phones and can receive your calls to us on any device! Christmas came early over here!
I am so excited to be sharing new and old traditions with all of you. August 1 seems like a long time ago, but in reality it’s been just a few months since we began this journey together. I think we have already accomplished a lot in re-connecting and renewing our ministries here at VUU. We made it through election season and now we are in renovation mode. There’s always something to add to the list of things to do. Although frequently on my to-do list, I never have time to do Christmas cards or letters–some of you are so good at those kinds of things! I am really good at buying cards that then never make it into the mail. Sometimes I even write in them!
In any case, this is my Christmas letter and card to all of you:
I have enjoyed many 1:1 meetings with VUU members this fall, and I look forward to scheduling more of these to get to know all of you better and to learn more about your hopes for Valley UU and your sense of how things are going in our new shared ministry. I am enjoying being part of a ministry team, and feel that we are doing great work together and having fun!
To celebrate the holiday season, we had a VUU staff Christmas dinner earlier this month and enjoyed playing dominoes and a fun version of white elephant gift giving. In addition, my family and I visited the Desert Botanical Gardens also and enjoyed some of their decorations. We look forward to seeing the luminarias after Christmas. My oldest daughter will be home for a few days before traveling to Spain, so we are planning to make the most of our time together.
This can be a hard time of year, too. Some of us are missing people who have died or are no longer in our lives, or struggling with relationships that are challenging, and some of us are struggling with health concerns, financial burdens and other spiritual and emotional stressors. Please know that I am just a phone call or email away! Your pastoral care team is also available if needed.
Several of you asked for the references and script from my last sermon on Jesus. I am happy to share, with a gentle reminder that it was written to be a sermon and not a formal paper, so my references aren’t academically proficient. I have included links to the books I refer to. I hope you’ll enjoy these! John and I also enjoy the work of Tripp Fuller, whose podcast “Homebrewed Christianity” often has guest theologians and conversations some of you may also enjoy. A recent favorite included theologian John Dominic Crossan who has also studied ancient art and symbols of early Christianity.
I hope that in whatever ways you can, you are finding peace, renewal and community.