Archive for June, 2010

Jun 01 2010

Rev. Nancy’s Photo Album

Published by under Minister's Musings


From my minister’s perch, I’ve got a rare perspective on the Big Picture of life at FUCSJ. No single person can witness all that’s bubbling and brewing in our spiritual community at any given moment, but I’ve taken some snapshots, and I know you will have more. Please look for your own beloved face in this gallery, and be sure to picture the video versions—some of these images are moving (in every sense of the word)!

·         Here’s a large group folks from the Music Summit and its ongoing Learning Journeys to enhance our Music Ministries—this photo sings and sways!

·         Here’s a circle of teachers and parents, reflecting on this year’s Lifespan Faith Development program and discovering the next steps for serving our youngest members and their families. Oops—there go some of them, dashing off to accompany our fifth graders on visits to Our Neighboring Faiths!

·         Wow—look at how many people are showing up for the PACT Listening Campaign gatherings, discerning the social justice issue where we can make a difference. The next gathering is this Sunday, June 6, at 12:30 p.m. in the Fireside Room—be sure to get in the picture!

·         Warmth emanates from this photo of congregants gathering after our 9:30 worship service, responding to the news that the Spanish-Speaking Ministries Coordinator position will sunset at the end of December, and overflowing with ideas about how to preserve what matters most and how to improve what needs enhancement in our congregational life.

·         This next picture captures our Small Group Ministry groups and their leaders, walking with each other through all that life brings. A companion photo holds the loving arms and hands of our Pastoral Care team, along with all who have been touched by them this year.

·         Whoa—here’s the labyrinth filled to overflowing with children and youth! This single photo sums up the energy of the Youth Con we hosted this May; the hope and courage that Our Amazing Youth continually inspire; and the fun of the stories we have shared in worship this year.

·         Here are the Worship Associates, actually growing taller in stature as their worship leadership blooms—and here is a larger circle surrounding them, expanding way beyond the borders of the picture. This circle represents all of us who come to worship; all the folks who have filled out worship surveys or offered worship themes; all the folks who feel the beating heart of our community in the shared experiences of worship.

·         Nancy, why do you have a picture of a building’s foundation?” Glad you asked! It represents the work of our Building Committee, keeping a roof over our heads and sturdy walls to shelter all this life energy. It also symbolizes the stronger-than-ever infrastructure of our elected and appointed leadership. I wish you all could experience firsthand the depth of the work these groups do! For the first time this year, the Program and Operations Council produced Monitoring Reports on all our Ends (our deepest goals), naming our core values, assessing our effectiveness, establishing transparency and accountability in our leadership structures and in the work of the whole congregation. This summer, the Board, led by lay members who are graduates of Leadership School, is “harvesting the power” to build its creative and spiritual capacities for long-range planning, mission guidance, and deep listening. This isn’t just any old cement foundation in this snapshot; this is a foundation that is newly strong and flexible, awash in the glow of a Unitarian Universalist chalice.

·         And here is one more picture, tinted with the future: It’s all of us, at a party! Oh, yes, we have differences of opinions, we have engaged in passionate debate, yet here we are, staying at the table together. We have built into the coming year new ways to deepen our fellowship; we have established healthier means of communication and opened clear pathways for feedback and the continued growth of ministers, staff, lay leaders, and members; and we have grounded ourselves in a renewed sense of our mission and identity as a spiritual community. At this party, the conversations are flowing, the laughter rising. There are tears, too, for life will continue to break our hearts as well as bring us its gifts. But the beautiful diverse faces in this photo shine with comfort, joy, and transformation. THIS is FUCSJ.



With my love, warmth—and more than a little fun, Nancy, or: Mr. Clean Jeans’ Pony[*]  

[*] Mr. Clean Jeans’ Pony is the anagram for my full name devised for one of the games at our end-of-year party on May 23. When this anagram was announced, I replied, “I want one!” 

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