The fast forward of commerce is always startling to me, though I know it shouldn’t be any longer. As we lurch into some fine summer weather, the back to school sales are well underway. My local Value Village has been displaying Christmas decorations for weeks already, and in the heat of August, clothes built for warm weather are disappearing from the stores. In some cases they are long gone as sturdy fall apparel fills the racks.
Even as I bemoan that race forward, I’m aware that the staff, Board and I are gazing into this next program year (September to June). Plans are being created and enacted for programming for children, youth and adults. Worship service themes and titles are beginning to populate our planning spreadsheet. We’re talking about worship in December, what weekend Easter falls on, plotting out the dates when our whole community (children, adults and youth) will be part of the service.
It feels a bit like standing at the center of a teeter-totter, trying to find some kind of balance that allows me to stay in the present instead of racing ahead.
Still, there are a whole variety of new plans and projects, some opportunities to be looking forward to and to plan to take part in. I offer you these bits and bobs to invite to take advantage of some late summer opportunities and to allow you to peer behind the curtain of the fall – a quick glimpse – to see what is coming up. It’s going to be great!
- Responding to the wish expressed last year during our #fUUtureFaith cottage meetings, Nancy Farrell is hosting a preliminary meeting to begin to think what our social justice and social action work will be. Everyone is invited to take part in considering directions and possibilities. How shall we structure it? What projects call to your hearts? Come along after the service on August 21st to let your ideas be known.
- Our ministerial intern, Matt Aspin, will be starting to work with us the first week in September. You’ll have a chance to meet him on August 28th when he and I lead the worship service. Come along and hear some about the what he brings to us and what we will be doing for him as his teaching congregation. Matt will be around all year leading worship, teaching classes, attending meetings and taking part in all aspects of church life. It’s an exciting adventure that we’re on with him!
- Another initiative from our cottage meetings and #fUUtureFaith grows from the many people who noted that the times that they felt best about the congregation was when they were participating in activities, groups and committees. We’re looking at ways invite members and friends to take part in the life of the congregation outside of Sunday mornings. I invite you to ponder what roles you might be interested in taking on, what kinds of activities you’d like to see (and be willing to help it come about), and what kinds of contributions feel meaningful to you. Watch in the fall for opportunities to talk about this, and to sign up to be part of making the congregation the best it can be.
- And, of course, there’s our excellent Adult Religious Explorations to watch out for. Susie Maharry, the Program Advisory Committee and Mary Rhine have been cooking up new opportunities to deepen and expand our offerings, so keep an eye out to see what’s new. Sign up for a Chalice Circle, be a facilitator, or find the offering that is right up your alley.
- We continue to discern what it means to be in partnership with the Vashon Island Unitarian Fellowship. As we inch toward September, we’ll be continuing to find those ways we can connect in mutual support. Watch this blog to hear about the connections that are being made.
It’s going to be a full year for us with much to do. Of course, we’ll keep up with all the wonderful and nourishing rhythms of worship and religious explorations, but new ideas and projects and opportunitiess abound for us.
I’m excited to get started.
But first, let’s finish this lovely summer! I’m grabbing my sunglasses and a glass of iced tea, and heading outside. What will you be doing?
*This is a British expression that can be translated as “this and that,” or “one thing or another.”