Do You Want To Hear Some Good News!!!!????

by Rev. Aaron Payson

Midst the realities faced by many in our country this summer: hurricanes, nuclear threat, wild fires, tornadoes, flooding, and terrorist attacks, it is often hard to imagine that there is any good news. And yet, it is the small work in the midst of the larger anxieties we face that often redeems us and calls us back to our best selves, especially in those moments when we feel like the gaping chasm between the way things are and the way we desire them to be seems so vast.

Here at UUCW, this was an active summer. What did we accomplish? Here are some of the highlights.

Summer Sunday Worship-Thanks to Craig & Deb Van Batenburg, Joan McGinn, Joan Webster, Kim Napoleone, Dianne mann, Susan Solis-Castandeda, Sheri Linn, and Kathy Cooper, our Summer Sunday Mornings were full of creative, engaging opportunities for worship, dialogue and fellowship!

Outreach & Programming-We continued to offer our food pantry on the 3rd Saturday of July and August. Our Standing on the Side of Love Task Force facilitated a movie night, The Rainbow Lunch Group hosted lunches on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays and a dinner on the 1st Tuesday. Meditation was silently practiced in the lounge on Monday mornings.   Members and friends gathered for  rallies and vigils at Worcester City Hall. I published a “Keeping the Faith” column in the Telegram & Gazette. Paul Marr upgraded our technology (including a new projector in the sanctuary!). Dianne Mann, Denise Darrigrand and Mary Monica Miner counselled people seeking SNAP benefits. Denise Darrigrand and Mary Fitton, processed our bills and monetary deposits. Jen Landry kept Summer office hours and held down the fort! The Board held its annual retreat at Debbie Merrill’s home. Matt Johnsen launched a new community choir. Dianne Mann and June Davenport continued to represent us at the Worcester Interfaith table for Refugee Resettlement.

Community Groups-We continued to host over a dozen community groups for their summer programming, including a month long series of trainings by the YWCA conducting advocacy training.

Buildings & Grounds-Wind damage in early summer resulted in the removal of a large tree from the back of our property. Scheduled major repairs of our plumbing meant digging a big hole in our kitchen (now repaired). Thanks to Steve McNally and Kim McCoy for keeping our grounds mowed and racked and our floors made shiny! Dianne Mann helped weed our gardens and new loam and mulch has been spread helping to make our property look spectacular. Thanks also to Robin Mitzcavitch and Vickie Cox-Lanyon for organizing a crew of over a dozen people to clean up our building spaces from top to bottom!

Staffing-We launched our search for a part-time bookkeeper and hope to have someone in place by October.

Robin Mitzcavitch and I were regularly seen at church preparing for this year, which will be spectacular!!!! We hope you will join us for our Service of Fall Return, this Sunday, September 10, at 10 AM, which will include our Annual Water Ceremony. This is an intergenerational worship service for the whole family!

Blessings,

Aaron