In almost every national election since I have been able to vote, someone has said, “This is the most important election in our history.” And in fact, maybe they all have been. I feel that way about these next couple of years here at UUCF and for Unitarian Universalism. It feels like we have come to a time in our history when we are making some decisions about who we are and who we want to be as we travel this journey together deeper into the 21st Century. It is not the first time this has happened. We have gone through various transitions that are marked by famous sermons or events like Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Harvard Divinity School Address, or William Ellery Channing’s “Unitarian Christianity,” or Theodore Parker’s “The Transient and Permanent in Christianity” or the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Black Empowerment Controversy.
As we begin this congregational year, UUCF’s lay leadership, staff and ministers will be working together to investigate and reflect on the congregation’s financial sustainability and planning for our future. We will be in conversation with lay leaders, staff and ministers from area congregations to share challenges that we are all facing in these times and do some sharing and brainstorming about the many possibilities that await.
We do this in the midst of a complex and demanding cultural and political atmosphere in need of Unitarian Universalist values to be heard, seen and available in our community. UUs broadly and UUCF specifically continue to be voices of goodness and love in the public arena, as well as havens for those seeking connection, inspiration, action and hope related to the difficult and unsettling times in which we live.
We always have choices to make. One of my choices is to approach this work as serious and urgent but also not to let it overwhelm the immense beauty and joy I see and feel in this world and as a part of the UUCF community. This year we will also sing together, laugh, celebrate and share in the beauty of this world. We will raise our voices in love and share the sad and tender moments. With the state of our world, surely there will be times when we will need to do this.
It promises to be an extraordinary and vital year in our lives, in the long history of this congregation and in the larger community of which we are a part. As always, I am honored and privileged to share this journey with you. As always, we will make mistakes. As always, we will not always agree. And I hope we will learn with each passing moment how to better act with love, humility and kindness as we grow from the deep and intentional practice of this faith.