Sunday, September 21, 2014

St. Louis People's Climate March


Today was a beautiful day for St. Louis' People's Climate March.  While I couldn't make it to the big one in New York, it still felt great to be part of the movement in some way.  I was there as a representative of Missouri Interfaith Power & Light (and UU :-).  While there were a few people of faith there, I was saddened that not more had turned out.  We did quite a bit of outreach to the religious communities (Unitarian Universalists included), but very few came.  I am not sure why. What does it take to motivate religious people?  The weather was perfect, the march in a convenient location, and it is a social justice issue.  Yet, there seems to still be disconnect and distinct lack of activism. I was heartened, though, by the faith representation in New York.  Perhaps that will spread out to the rest of the country!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

You Don't Live Here

I can't tell you how frustrating it is to here people pontificating on the circumstances of Ferguson when they don't even live in the area.  Ferguson, and the St. Louis metro area as a whole, is complicated.  I have lived here twenty years and I am sure I don't have a full grasp of all the nuances, especially in terms of race and class.  It is irritating to listen to pundits dissect our city like they *know* what is going on/is wrong.  They don't know.  There is SO MUCH misinformation swarming around the interent that is impossible to know the true story.  As I have said before, Ferguson is a great community full of well-meaning folks.  I am there all the time.  A tragedy has occured and people want answers.  We aren't going to get the answers with every one distorting the truth - especially from those who aren't from the area.  I can only pray that the agitators back down so that the true work of justice can begin.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ferguson

I live in the suburb next to Ferguson.  I am often in the area where the riots are occuring.  Ferguson is a great community and it breaks my heart that this is happening.  I don't really know what to say.  I don't understand why an unarmed man was shot & killed.  I am frustrated that the police will not give out more information.  I am appalled that people are using this as a reason to loot businesses that are supporting their community. I am horrified that the police are taking such militaristic tactics.  I am saddened that the news and social media sites are not putting a greater emphasis on the citizens that are trying to help their neighborhood recover.  If you only watched national news, you would think Ferguson is a war zone.  It isn't.  I am at a lost as to what to do to make the situation better.  This isn't the Ferguson I know, and I feel helpless to do anything about it.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

UU Campfest

This upcoming week, we are participating in our congregation's annual camping trip.  This will be our first year.  While we do a lot of Scout related camping, we aren't that big of campers and most of the family are introverts.  We LOVE our alone/down time.  But, this year, I decided to give a try.  The kids are getting older (14, 13 and 10) and I know one of the best ways to keep them engaged in church, is to form solid friendships.  Sunday's just aren't enough.  I have seen many teenagers drift away from church as they have more say in their life.  I don't want that to happen.  When Husband and I moved to our current congregation after leaving our old one under difficult circumstances, it was challenging to develop new friendships like we had at our previous church.  Therefore, the level of commitment wasn't there.  Now that we have been attending for 4-5 years, those ties are stronger.  I want my children to feel those ties, too.  I am hoping that these next few days will help nurture that.  I also hope that I don't lose it and flee the campsite in state of panic and hide in my room for the next week.....

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Other Side of Candidating Season

While there is a lot of celebrating during candidating season, there is also a lot of mourning.  My congregation received word this week that our Minister is leaving us for another congregation.  To say I am upset is an understatement.  It caught the majority of our congregation completely by surprise. In an effort for transparency, the Minister and Board will be hosting a fireside chat session next week, but is that enough?  Do Ministers owe their congregations any sort of warning? I feel a bit betrayed.  I really like our Minister and I have no idea on why he felt a need for another church.  I thought he was happy here. Obviously, we will know more after the meeting, but I feel if he knew this was a possibility for a long time, why didn't he say something?  We spent the whole year in the dark about his future intentions.  I don't think I am alone in feeling this way.  I feel that there is a special relationship between a congregation and its Minister and we deserve more than a vague announcement.  Thoughts?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Stewardship

How are all your annual stewardship campaigns going?  I imagine most of them will be winding down in the next few weeks.  As a member of a smaller congregation with big dreams, I always feel a little nervous this time of year. There is so much we would like to do, but not nearly enough resources (both people and money).  We are constantly on the edge of deciding whether or not to keep a full-time minister or ask him to go part-time.  We have already drastically cut our DRE's hours.  I can't imagine cutting our ministers hours. Is there really such a thing as a part time minister? I feel he is very valuable to the congregation and should be compensated for it.  I am already upset that we have had to cut back the DRE's hours by so much.  As a denomination, if we truly want to grow, we need to invest in our children.  Creating a strong foundation now will hopefully keep them in the church as adults.  Strong RE programs are what brings young families to our churches.  Full-time Ministers provide the leadership and consistency vibrant congregations need.


Our Stewardship Committee is asking that we all raise our pledges by 20%.  Obviously, not everyone is in a position to do this, but if you are, please consider it.  Look around you and see if there isn't a place that you save some money give it to your church instead.  Do you have to go out to eat twice a week?  Do you really need a third pair of sandals? Can you hold off redecorating your house?  I would venture that if you are reading this blog, Unitarian Universalism is something you need.  It is something that sustains us everyday.  Please consider making it a priority in your life.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

UU Time Capsule

Am I the only one a little disappointed in the Time Capsule contents? I suppose it is my over active imagination, but I was super excited when Headquarters had announced they found it.  How cool!!!  But it wasn't.  I anticipated the usual assortment of hymnals, papers, and newsletter (interesting in an academic way).  What I had hoped was there would be treasures of chalices, stained glass, vestments, music, significant objects, etc. Instead, it's contents reflect exactly what you would expect old, white men would feel are important.  And yes, those things are important, but I hope when we develop the next time capsule, we try to give a full vision of who we are and what we do.  I hope it is more then just documents, but representations of how we live our faith in a dynamic and multi-faceted way.