From the Minister
Usually, when September rolls around, ministers have already laid out some scaffolding for what might be addressed in the coming year. I suspect that practice has changed significantly since the beginning of the pandemic for all of us.
We continue to be lost in the mires of this pandemic. The trauma is thick for all of us. I know that we are not satisfied with Zoom anymore, if we ever were, and some of us struggle with not being in-person. We've been working hard to keep safe for almost a year and a half now, and it's hard that the end that had been in sight has been pushed out indefinitely.
And still, time moves on. We continue to build. We continue to reach out to the community to do good. In that spirit, we'll be participating in the work of FAST, Faith and Action for Strength Together, which "is a justice ministry organization made up of 38 religious’ congregations throughout Pinellas County who band together to create positive change in our community." You can read more about their work here: http://fast-pinellas.org/who-are-we
FAST has reached out to UUCTS as they don't have any member congregations this far north in Pinellas, and they are hoping to find out more about what community needs exist in this area as they plan for the year. We will be hosting 1-2 house meetings, where congregants will have the opportunity to share their own stories of difficulties and the stories we witness or are aware of in the community. These will be taking place in September. If you're interested in participating, please let Rev. Kristina know.
We also plan to offer Covenant Group(s) again this year. I'd be delighted to answer any questions, as I'm sure any of the group's participants last year would also be. Greg Rosasco, Mark Hopkins, and Barbara Kostreva were the co-facilitators if you'd prefer to reach out to them.
And I'm so pleased to share that we will be offering The Shared Pulpit, a 9-week workshop for learning how to create sermons and worship services. I say we, but Barbara Rosen will be leading this. The Shared Pulpit is a book that was written by Rev. Erika Hewitt, to support lay folx in learning how to craft worship. Please reach out to her if you might be interested in participating.
There will be more. One of the ways that we can manage our trauma responses is to find work that is meaningful to do. September's theme is "embracing possibility." Let's see what we can create together!
If you have an interest or curiosity for serving, please know that we don't expect everyone to know everything. Leadership development is so important for having a healthy, thriving congregation. Please reach out to me if there's something you'd like to explore -- and also don't be surprised if you get a message from me asking you to consider an opportunity!
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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