February 16, 2023
So we made it from Camp VUU back into the sanctuary…and there’s a lot to LOVE about our renovations! There’s a lot we’re still living into, which is my way of saying “it’s not all figured out yet.” Some of our equipment is still yet to be delivered and installed for the A/V set up. And we are still figuring out where chairs go and how the kitchen is organized and where things will live as we put them back. Katie is helping arrange for us to do a training with a sound engineer in April with the tech team staff and volunteers. As I write this I am listening to 24 choir members–several new!–and our new accompanist as they sing together. There is much to be grateful for!
I started a new faith formation class last week called Sacred Earth which had 18 participants (online and in person). It was wonderful to gather and begin to be in deeper conversation as we read and engage our spirits together. If you want to join us, please RSVP here. I promise we’ll do it again, so don’t worry!
Sometimes when I am hiking I listen to music and podcasts. This week I had two I wanted to share with you. One is an episode from A People’s Theology featuring Rev. Dr. Randy Woodley called “How to Reconnect with Sacred Earth.” I’ve really enjoyed this discussion and found it had connections with the class I started at VUU and with what it means to practice decolonization. The other came from a podcast called Homebrewed Theology “Science and Spiritual Experience and #Experiencing God.” This particular episode I thought might be really helpful for people who are coming into Unitarian Universalism from another Christian tradition, since so many of us have a different relationship with the idea of God, the importance of science and also the importance of asking questions and building new traditions.
Last week I preached using a lot of learning from author and activist adrienne maree brown (she doesn’t capitalize her name). The book is called “Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds.” If you want to learn more you can find information at https://adriennemareebrown.net/tag/emergent-strategy/.
On February 7 I joined many organizations and people at the Arizona State Capitol for Environmental Day at the Legislature, which was very well attended on a warm and sunny day. I participated in giving an interfaith blessing and listened to a number of speakers. Similarly, I gave the opening prayer on February 9 for the City of Chandler. It’s an honor to represent VUU in these gatherings. I love running into you all at them, and I love introducing a different version of being religious to our larger community.
This weekend I am spending time with the Coming of Age program participants (9th and 10th graders), joining them at a ropes course designed to build trust, cooperation and relationship. I will be traveling with this crew of teens alongside Carl Anderson and Director Marci Beaudoin to Boston in June for the Heritage trip. It’s important to me that I have relationships with members of all ages–our youth should know who their minister is and feel comfortable talking to her! I look forward to learning from this generation of youth.