Yesterday’s Ingathering, food drive (and bubble blessing!) were wonderful examples of UUCF adapting to meet the challenges of our day. As we travel through this congregational year, there will certainly be a need for further adaptations, some that we can see coming and some that we will need to envision on the fly.
We are already planning activities and events for the fall and holiday season. Some of these activities will allow us to visit our beautiful campus while maintaining the safety policies that have been set in place. Other activities will be virtual, but give us opportunities for connection and reflection as we look into the unknown ahead.
With yesterday’s vote at our congregational meeting to pass the budget, your staff will continue to devote ourselves to serving the UUCF community with extraordinary care and creativity. As part of that vote, the congregation approved the hiring of a full-time assistant minister starting as soon as November. To support this process, the previous assistant minister search team members have all agreed to serve, which will reduce the search preparation time. Although the budget begins for this position in November, we are off cycle with the normal Unitarian Universalist Association search process so we will need to identify candidates who are available and interested. In the meantime, although Rev. Alice King continues to serve her congregation in Leesburg, she will also continue to support UUCF’s pastoral care and small group ministry as needed. We are deeply grateful for her service.
As we begin this congregational year together, with so much happening in the world and with so many unknowns before us, this is what I ask: Please be gentle with yourselves and each other. And I ask that this includes UUCF’s paid professional leadership, staff and lay leadership. We all continue to process our roles in light of our own feelings and needs and, like everyone else, we will do our best to cope with these extraordinary circumstances. We are now truly being called to model the patience, goodness and love at the heart of this tradition. This is one of those moments in history where we really need to practice what we preach and try to live into the values to which we aspire.
I am honored to serve this congregation and be together with you on this journey.