Our Pledges As Nourishment

Apr. 23, 2018. By Senior Minister Rev. David A. Miller. When you think about UUCF, I’m hoping what comes to mind first are things like love, community, spiritual nourishment, compassion, growth, family, justice and service. I’m also hoping when we think of UUCF we have a growing understanding of what it takes to keep this place running, the incredible work of the staff, the voice of love, hope and justice that we have always valued so deeply, but especially in this last year. When considering all of this, although it can be hard, the hope is we avoid thinking of money equaling votes for or against particular aspects of congregational […]

On the Road to Beloved Community … Teaching RE Matters

Apr. 16, 2018. By Interim Director of Religious Exploration Diana Tycer. We are in the midst of our Annual Giving pledge campaign, and we all know that to achieve the beloved community our congregation desires, money does matter. But so does the commitment of time and talent that a thriving Religious Exploration program requires. And we do have a thriving RE program. Just last Sunday, more than 200 children and youth, and more than 60 adults, participated in one of our RE programs (this includes those adventuring in DC with the Coming of Age 7th grade classes.) In fact, we have so many students attending RE that we had to […]

Trust the Process

Apr. 9, 2018. By Intern Minister Pippin Whitaker. I am delighted to share with you that on Mar. 24, the Ministerial Fellowship Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Association welcomed me into preliminary fellowship as a UU minister (I still have to complete my internship and graduate from Meadville Lombard to finalize this). This means that I am cleared to enter search this fall and to find a congregation to serve as minister beginning in August 2019. Being granted this status also clears me for ordination, and I am exploring ordination possibilities for spring 2019 once I am approved for graduation. I will continue to serve UUCF as your intern next […]

A Binding Thread on Your Spiritual Journey

Apr. 2, 2018. By UUCF member Stacey Casey. While sitting in the bright UUCF Sanctuary on recent Sunday mornings, I have loved hearing the personal faith stories from UUCF members. This experience has made me re-examine my own reasons for attending UUCF, and led me to start defining my own spiritual journey. Many of these member stories share a common theme: the connection between Covenant Groups and building a stronger connection to UUCF. To date, Covenant Groups have been long-term small groups that get together in a shared experience of listening, reflecting and exploring issues together. In each story I’ve heard, the UUCF members describe their Covenant Groups as giving […]

All In

Mar. 26, 2018. By Leadership Development Team Chair Craig Bennett. This year we’ve heard a different congregant share their story each Sunday – a brief expression of their experience at UUCF, maybe what brought them here, what kept them here, what motivates or inspires them. These members are, as Ian Hochberg said, “all in” with their commitment to this community, and they’ve shared their stories as an expression of gratitude. Often these stories relate how a member became involved in some aspect of UUCF and ended up receiving something much greater than what they originally expected from investing their time and effort. I’ve stopped being surprised at how rewarding these […]

Living Our Third Principle Through Worship

Mar. 19, 2018. By your UUCF worship leaders*. As we have traveled through the worship experience since last September, the Worship Team has considered the unprecedented and unique challenges facing our country, Unitarian Universalism and UUCF. We have experimented with modifications to worship with the hope of creating an experience that would be more inclusive, welcoming and spiritually nourishing to a wildly divergent group of members, friends and newcomers. This included differences in tone and music between the 9:15 and 11:15 a.m. services. We solicited and received copious amounts of feedback about all aspects of worship including music, tone, interactive elements and Religious Exploration scheduling. Some of you were incredibly […]

Taking a Break From “Doing” to Focus on “Being”

Mar. 12, 2018. By Assistant Minister Rev. Sarah Caine. My first blog as Rev. Sarah Caine! It’s still sinking in that I have made it to this honorific. Thank you all for making it possible. The power to grant this title rests with the congregation, and you inspire and humble me with your votes of confidence. I hope I serve you and this calling well. Part of the training to become a UU minister is doing at least one unit of clinical pastoral education (CPE). This means 3 months usually working in a hospital (there are some programs in hospice or working with marginalized communities) as a chaplain. There is […]

Two “Gifted and Committed” UUCF Staff Members Stay on for the Next Year

Mar. 5, 2018. By Senior Minister Rev. David A. Miller. In discussion with the leadership of the congregation, a decision was reached to extend an offer to both Diana Tycer and Rev. Sarah Caine to stay on staff for at least one more year in their roles as interim director of religious exploration (DRE) and assistant minister, respectively. Both are doing an excellent job and it was concluded that with the various transitions in the congregation, this would give us some time to breathe, appreciate their gifts and plan for what comes next. Our contract with Sarah is based on a mutual agreement to continue from year to year and […]

“We Provide Hope For Each Other”

Feb. 26, 2018. By Worship Coordinator and Director of Music & Arts Laura Weiss. When I was younger, I couldn’t imagine playing a concert alone on a stage. Like most classical pianists, I was urged to fall neatly in line for conservatory tracks and concert hall preparation. What bothered me wasn’t the pressure of performance, the practice regimen or hours of isolation with the piano, but the deafening roar in my heart that urged me to seek other ways of using my gifts in the world. I didn’t know what that meant, and I’m still discovering it, but my purpose becomes clearer when tragedy strikes again, as it did Feb. […]

Our Good Old Young Adult Group

Feb. 19, 2018. By Intern Minister Pippin Whitaker. Since beginning my internship in September, I have been inspired by our Young Adult Fellowship group. With a little organizing on my part, this group for 18- to 35-year-olds gathers regularly and in healthy numbers. Despite busy schedules from school, parenting young children and new careers, the young adults take part in monthly social time, show up for social justice activities, organize community service projects and delve into spiritual renewal. On top of all that, they also lead and serve on committees and task forces throughout the congregation. This group format is a new phenomenon at UUCF. In the early decades of […]