Jun 10 2008
As We Build the Beloved Community …
Announcing: The FUCSJ Summer Challenge!
It’s here! The latest in “reality shows”! A dynamic, action-packed drama, filled with laughter, tears, sweat, and surprising turns. Broadcast in the prime time of summer downtime, across the airwaves of summer breezes, available around the world on your summer travels and right in your own living room. Prizes galore: New Friends! A Meaningful Life! A Better World! Starring: YOU! Enter now: it’s the “FUCSJ Summer Challenge!”
The Backstory: Conversations in recent weeks about First Unitarian’s budget for the coming year have prompted a rush of energy and inspiration. Lively contestants have offered input and leapt into action. The “producers” (your congregational leaders and ministers) are awash in gratitude for the care and commitment you bring to our Spiritual Cooperative! Now comes the REAL challenge!
A few months ago—before the “FUCSJ Summer Challenge!” was even a gleam in your minister’s eye—some of our producers (your Board of Directors), um, produced a draft of our “Ends Statements.” These Ends are statements about why we are here at the First Unitarian Church of San José, and what we are willing to give in order to fulfill our purpose. The “global” statement—both overarching and wide-reaching—goes like this:
“Through our worship, education, service, fellowship, work for social justice, and stewardship, we build a loving compassionate multigenerational community that embodies our Unitarian Universalist values and that is multilingual, multicultural, multiracial, and anti-oppressive. We are willing to extend ourselves by giving our time, talent, and treasure to meet these expansive ends.”
The Challenge: How will YOU, the star of the show, bring this Ends Statement to life? This summer, we invite you to think about how you will accomplish these ends in the coming year!
· How many people—people you haven’t been close to already—can you reach out to this summer, this year, to express your love for their unique selves, to offer compassion (which means to share their feelings), to comfort them (which means to share your strength), and to remind each other of how good it is to be alive?
· How will you, this summer, this year, make a new friend who is not close to you in age? What will you learn from this new friend who is much younger or much older than you? How will you share with others what you learn?
· How will you, this summer, this year, spend time with people who come from a different culture, race, or country than your own, with people whose first language is different than yours? Whom can you invite to dinner? What new friends can you make across these seeming boundaries?
· What actions will you take, this summer, this year, for justice? Will you call our governor NOW to tell him you support equal marriage rights for same-sex couples? Will you show up for at least TWO social-justice events in the next six months?
· How will you, this summer, this year, serve those most in need in our community? Will you help hand out food to the homeless with Food Not Bombs? Will you serve a meal at the Julian Street Inn?
· How will you, this summer, this year, have fun and care for yourself? Will the activities listed above add joy to your life? Will you show up for the all-church campout or the fall retreat? Will you bring your precious self to Sunday services and small-group gatherings?
Be a Star! Join the Challenge! Take the Risk! Earn the Rewards!
And stay tuned to this channel, for news of the Ratings and the Results. Happy Summer, My Friends!