To say September 2019 has been an eventful month at UUCB, would be an understatement. For those who have not heard, our sanctuary guest, Ingrid, delivered baby Elizabeth – at church – on Monday evening, the 16th. Any new life is a blessing to a church, but so much more so when our church building serves as the location for that new life entering our world. And Ingrid had a couple notable visitors the following weekend: on Saturday the 21st, our congressional representative stopped by to visit Ingrid and her family, accompanied by one of his congressional colleagues, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (Yes, AOC was at UUCB.) At the same time, we have had significant building issues, from a wiring problem in the sanctuary (now repaired) to a collapsed sewer line that forced us to close a couple bathrooms in the church bldg. (As I write this, a section of the courtyard near our front door has been jackhammered and dug up to reach the damaged pipe.) And, though we were short-staffed for much of the month, new staff member Beth Elliot, has now begun full-time service to our church as of Wednesday the 25th as Congregational Life Director. And all this is on top of the usual busyness that comes with a new church year starting up in September. Church life is rarely boring, but least of all this month.
And some of us may well feel overwhelmed by all that is happening. If that’s true for you, I do understand. Even for me, as an interim minister accustomed to witnessing change in congregations, this is a lot of change in a short time. But while they can be frustrating and/or dizzying in the short term, the long term benefit of such changes is that they can open space for new possibilities to emerge. I am hopeful for the future of this church, even as we deal with the frustrations of plumbing problems, the adjustments of having a baby in the church, and the temporary unfamiliarity of a new staff member. I truly believe good things are ahead for us.
Also, a note about worship: starting Sept. 29, we are trying out a few changes to our order of service. I do not perceive these as major changes (though perhaps a few of you will disagree). More relevantly, I do not – necessarily – expect them to be permanent changes. I am committing to this new order to our worship services, through the end of calendar year 2019 – the 3 months from late September through late December. In early December, after we’ve all had a few weeks to become accustomed to the new structure, I will hold a couple listening sessions (dates & times TBD), where I will gather input from the congregation on their experiences of these changes. Then I will meet in mid-December with the Worship Team to review your input and theirs, then decide whether to continue the changes, return to the earlier OOS, or find a third option. Let me know if you have questions.