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Desert Notes

Love is our Doctrine. Service is our prayer. Justice is our calling.

Desert Notes

23 February, 2023

Dear VUU friends who have been with us online the last two weeks…I am sorry you have been caught in our learning process with our sound equipment.  And I’m afraid I can’t promise we won’t still be learning and making mistakes publicly the next few weekends.  The move from analog to digital has come with a major learning curve, and we are still missing some pieces of our set up.  In addition, we are using multiple platforms that have software complexities and getting all of the parts–computers, software, digital sound board, monitors, projectors, cameras, and wireless microphones to work–is a large adaptive task for our part time and volunteer sound tech team. 

In retrospect, we wish we had given ourselves a little more room to learn by extending Camp VUU.  (But those floors!  And the cabinets!  And all the other less-adaptive, pretty new renovations!!!) Basically, we just need more time as a team to practice using this new set up and learning what to do when something doesn’t work the way we think it should.  We are trying to schedule some time for part time staff and volunteers to come in and work together outside of Sunday morning, but since this is no one’s FT job and everyone running the new system has other jobs and responsibilities even this is not an easy thing to arrange.  So this is me asking all of you to continue to give us some space and grace as we learn more publicly than we would like to…thanks in advance!!  I am planning to re-record the sermon only portions of those two services so that we can post these to YouTube.  We aren’t streaming to Youtube until we know we have something worth preserving.  

Last weekend, I invited you all to join me in reading “I Never Thought About It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times” by Monica Guzman.  I hope many of you will take the time to read this over the next year.  I will set up some discussion groups for it, but I’d love to have some partners to help lead and facilitate.  If you’re interested, grab a copy (or download to your e-reader) and let me know –  minister@vuu.org  I believe the work ahead of us requires us to be willing to ask deeper questions and listen more carefully to one another–to notice when we have stopped listening or jumped to conclusions or made assumptions that are missing important information.  I think this is true in every aspect of our public lives.  Another reading that highlights this need in our democracy is one I found through my work with VIP/IAF.  This article by Ernesto Cortes Jr. says a lot about where we are as a democracy and what our role as an “organized mediating institution” could be in our community. I hope some of you will also pick it up and see how these two pieces are inviting us to engage differently with each other and the world around us–to have conversations that allow us to change and be changed–through deliberation and negotiation, conversations and questions. 

In Gratitude, Rev. Sarah minister@vuu.org