As I was preparing for the Flower Ceremony service (available on May 2), I was so aware of how hymns and other worship pieces are not written for those of us in a warmer year-round climate. I thought about the lovely "Spring Has Now Unwrapped the Flowers," and thought, "It's unwrapped some flowers..." And April showers bring May flowers... I wondered which flowers were the May ones!
I've heard that energy was high at the Visioning meetings that Linda Mandano and Dimitri Hernandez have hosted for us. I'm curious to hear the outcomes of the sessions and would be curious to hear from you as well about aspects of the conversations that you found particularly invigorating or worth exploring!
I also know that questions about reopening are still coming regularly. We have a team that is helping us to focus on criteria to make the process smoother and as safe as possible. I know we are eager to return to some sense of normalcy. I ask you all to continue to have compassion for each other, for all of us as we work on this. This last year plus has been a deep trauma for us all, and for some of us more than others, including any who have had loved ones sick or die from this disease. For any who are able to view it, I'd encourage you, if you're interested, to watch Rev. Sunshine Wolfe's video from a series about doing multi-platform worship and ministry (https://www.uua.org/leadership/library/multi-platform-trauma). It's about 10 minutes long and reviews some of the experiences many people are having even as we're having conversations about reopening.
Otherwise, things with the congregation seem to be steady. We continue to have new folks joining us on Sunday mornings. We are beginning to explore more deeply developing ourselves in terms of stewardship and faith formation for children and youth (and would love to hear from you if you're interested in either!). New people are joining, others are leaving -- and we are so sad to see you go. We are working to figure out the way forward in membership, shared leadership, and other areas.
Thank you to all of you for continuing to keep safe during this time, for your ongoing giving to the congregation, and for the work you do for the congregation and in the world. It is a joy to be here with you!
If you'd like to reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-968-8692 (or 727-279-5992 for local calls).
In faith and service, Rev. Kristina Spaude
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