President Iyesatu Kamara-Bush – President’s Perspective
The board continues to work toward reimagining our congregation’s mission and vision. Last month, we met with Sara Leonard from New Chapter Coaching. She gave us much needed guidance on how to proceed in an organized and purposeful manner. In the coming months, we will begin to enlist the assistance of others in our community to move this project forward.
I am reminded constantly that the ultimate work of the board is to support this beloved community as we work together, celebrate together and sometimes grieve together. I am perpetually in awe of the way that this congregation loves one another unconditionally and tenaciously.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the Kamara/Bush family, I want to wish everyone a happy and fulfilling holiday season.
In Love and Followship,
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Rev. Molly Housh Gordon – How do we move through precarious times? Tenderly
When we are faced with uncertainty, it is so understandable, it is so human, to clamp down, batten down the hatches, and clench our fists tight. And yet, we have another instinct as well, which is to open our arms to each other, to soften our gaze, to become so very gentle. As we live into ever more precarious times, we watch these two instincts play out in both intimate and global ways.
Our Unitarian Universalist faith calls us to the latter — to become agents of tenderness in the long journey to beloved community. For me this faithful work begins in the body, even by simply noticing when I’m tensing up, and asking myself what it would feel like to soften instead. When I can bring softness into my dealings with the world, I feel my heart opening in tender empathy – it is so difficult and so beautiful, just to be. What gentle care we each and all deserve in the face of life’s uncertainty.
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Intern Minister George Grimm-Howell – A Tender Calling
An old Baptist hymn that dwells deep in my bones sings of salvation as a soft and tender calling. It’s not through our selfish determination or fear of failure, but through grace that we are called home, called into the beloved community of the faithful.
As I contemplate the close of my intern ministry here at UUCC, I am profoundly grateful for the grace in which this community has held me, nurtured me, and challenged me. In your midst, I have finally heard in clearest tones the deep and beautiful call to ministry. As the old hymn intones, this calling was soft and tender as you opened your hearts to become once again a teaching congregation, giving me space to make mistakes and discover my growing edges.
As we approach the day of final farewell at the end of December, my soul is filled with gratitude for the many ways you welcomed this Indiana farm kid who has finally found his calling. I will carry you all with me into my new life to come.
In deepest gratitude,
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Director of Religious Education Jamila Batchelder
As we head into the intense holiday rush, I am thinking about how we can be tender with ourselves. There is always so much pressure to make the time magical for our families, and an inevitable sense that we are failing at it. Likewise, there is this hope that if we do everything right, our kids will be jolly and grateful through the whole season. And if your kids are anything like mine, they too inevitably fall short of our hopes.
I remember an encounter with a member of our community on Christmas Eve, on what would be the last Christmas Eve before they passed away. They were bubbling over with joy for the season, while I was grumpy and frustrated with my misbehaving kids. When I shared this with them, they laughed and said their kids were being terrible too, aren’t they always this time of year.
I remember this each year as I try to be tender with myself and my loved ones, and appreciate that we have this moment together, even in all its imperfection.