Ponderings of our Spiritual Life Director 5-6-24

I think our UUCL Annual Meeting went very well yesterday! Thank you to everyone who attended and everyone who turned in their proxy to someone else. We had a high level of engagement. It is really a great thing that we all care so much about our small religious community and can engage in dialogue that helps us create possibilities. It is fertile ground from which we can grow.

Martha’s Rules will take a little getting used to, although I felt like we definitely got into the groove of its process after a couple of tries. It is much simpler and easier to understand than Robert’s Rules. I appreciate how Martha’s structure allows for conversation, dissenting voices to be heard, and a simple path to making a decision. I think we are still working towards an understanding of its potential.

I am also thrilled that we had more candidates than board positions. I love that we have enthusiastic people ready to participate and lead us into the future. I appreciate all of you!

On another note

We have just about arrived at the summer season—at least it feels that way! It’s hot, my classes are over, and I’m graduating in two weeks. I feel myself transitioning toward “summer brain.” What does that mean? I need a writing break, a slower pace, and more hands-on, creative activities. Is that just me, or do you all get “summer brain,” too? Or something like it? I’d love to know!

You can expect that I won’t be writing as much over the summer, so there will not be weekly Ponderings in the newsletter. Worship services, as they tend to be at UUCL during the summer, will be a bit more creative and laid back. We will work outside of our regular format for some weeks. Breakfast picnic, anyone? This relieves pressure for everyone! And it’s fun…

I will be gone the last two Sundays of May for graduation and some quiet time in Wisconsin with family. I will also probably not be at UUCL on the last Sunday in June, as this is family beach time. Other than that, I will not take the long summer break that I have the past couple of years. That’s not sustainable for anyone, especially Petra. It also allows me to take vacation time during the year, and I’d love to go visit my sister in Doha, Qatar in January!

And on another another note…

Just wanted to share some quotes from yesterday about our monthly theme of The Gift of Pluralism:

Harvard University’s Religious Studies professor Diana Eck says:

Pluralism isn’t just diversity; it’s something we create out of this diversity.

Professor of Counseling Psychology, Mick Cooper, says:

Pluralism isn’t easy. It’s a constant willingness to self-challenge and to look at where we might be wrong, or limited; even with regard to pluralism itself. It requires a capacity to detach ourselves from our agendas, our beliefs, our commitments, and to recognize that there may be other ways. And it also requires us to recognize that we can never wholly achieve that.

Ethical Cultue Leader, Dr. Michael S. Franch wrote:

Diversity can just mean that we have a lot of differences, and we’re seeing each other as the “other.” We live side by side, at best ignoring each other, at worst experiencing friction. Pluralism means we’ve grappled with our differences. It means “the energetic engagement with diversity.” It’s not just getting along.