Days of Awe
This Sunday, our worship service will pay homage to the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah (Sept. 18-20) and Yom Kippur (Sept. 27-28). This celebration of the new year calls on the faithful to look back to past promises and commitments, practice forgiveness for self and others, remember and honor those who have died. It is also a time to recommit ourselves to one another and to our highest ideals. We will celebrate these Days of Awe this Sunday. Please join us as we remember our dearly departed, forgive our failings, and recommit to a new beginning.
Unitarian Universalist Association Grieves
In addition to the grievous death of Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, this past Friday, many Unitarian Universalists are also grieving the deaths of two of our faith’s dedicated servants.
On September 13th, the Rev. David Allen Pettee died after a year-long struggle with illness. Rev. Pettee worked for many years as the Ministerial Credentialing Director of the Unitarian Universalist Association. While his title and his position changed over the years, his work regularly involved shepherding those who were just starting on the path of Unitarian Universalist ministry through the process. David was my first official contact with the UUA when I decided to become a UU minister almost 20 years ago. He was known for his honesty, his compassion, and his advocacy. Many of our younger UU ministers are keenly feeling the loss of Rev. David Pettee and his support and counsel.
On September 23rd, Elandria Williams died. Though she had several health conditions that she struggled with over the last four years, her death was unexpected and sudden. Elandria served our denomination in many ways, most recently as Co-Moderator of the UU Association. She was a fierce advocate for social justice and gave voice to many of our marginalized voices in our faith. Many of our Unitarian Universalist GLBTQ folks and people of color are feeling shock and grief at the news of Elandria William’s death.
May their ministries and work live on in the many lives they touched. May this UU faith honor their service by continuing to strive to be the institution, the people they believed we could be. Our love and compassion to their families, their friends, and all those feeling bereft in this itme of continual struggle and loss.
I will be away on vacation next week from Monday, September 28th through Friday, October 2nd. Cheryl and I are traveling to a house we’ve rented in the wilderness of New Hampshire. This is our celebration of our anniversary and Cheryl’s birthday. While I’m on vacation, I will not be checking my email. If you do have an emergency, I will have my phone with me and will check messages as I receive them. I will not be hosting the Wednesday Zoom Lunch, but others may still do so using the UUC Zoom link.
Sojourn Service – October 4th @ NUUC in Sandy Springs, GA
On Sunday, October 4th, we’ll be visiting the Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Sandy Springs, Georgia and attending their worship service via Zoom. Their minister, the Rev. Misha Sanders, will leading the service and has enthusiastically invited us to join them for the service and the social hour afterwards. These sojourn services have become a regular practice of many UU congregations in the past six months. As we have learned how to worship safely via Zoom, we have also discovered planning, hosting, and conducting these services can “burn out” ministers, staff, and volunteers– especially if the coordination is limited to a small team of volunteers (such as it is here at UUC.) So, much as our religious ancestors did with pulpit exchanges, UU congregations have taken to “visiting” and “hosting” other UU congregations for worship. With Zoom services, we can visit our UU neighbors all over the country. NUUC’s service starts at 10 a.m. just like ours does. I hope you will join us next Sunday as we take virtual trip down to our UU neighbors in Sandy Springs, Georgia. (Rev. Misha is a gem of a minister– and is not to be missed!)