I’m glad to have the opportunity to reach out to everyone—especially this time of year.
The holidays are a special gift for all of us—and a unique opportunity to reflect on the gifts that enrich our lives throughout the year. USG is an extraordinary gift for us. We are a community, one composed of individuals from diverse backgrounds, careers, interests and perspectives on the world. Yet we respect the differences we find among our members. Through community we support them all with our friendship, our openness to varied opinion, and most of all through what we share in common—especially our commitment to the Principles that underlie our USG community, and indeed that of UUs everywhere.
And USG provides a steady stream of activities that enrich our perspectives on the society around us, and strengthen our ties to our church community. In 2018, we look forward to a full array of church activities that include, to name but a few:
- Inspiring worship and music that lift the soul and soothe us in stressful times
- Protecting the environment through a new initiative spearheaded by Dennis Brunn and Lois Murphy
- Engaging in a day of community service to honor Dr. Martin Luther King
- Nurturing the body, mind and spirit through Mindfulness Meditation
- Increasing our understanding of multiculturalism and our personal and collective commitment to fighting racism
- Exploring Elderhood with creativity and joy
- Offering rich Spiritual Development programs for children and youth
- Deepening our spiritual lives through Small Group Ministries
Our gifts and privileges are many; we live in a country that makes it possible for most people be productive and healthy, and to meet their material needs. Yet we know that too many Americans live in chronic, unacceptable poverty; that national policies reinforce old hatreds and promote further discrimination; that we witness shocking violations and poor treatment of minorities here and elsewhere in the world; and that increasingly callous policy in our own land threatens the environment everywhere.
We Unitarian Universalists have long been able to balance two perspectives:
gratitude for our own gifts, and the need for actions to address the wrongs we see around us.
We speak out freely and actively against injustices, and we vote for those whose policies we agree with and want to promote.
As we savor this holiday time, let us again respond to both perspectives: Let us give joyful thanks for those gifts we have, and energetically renew our commitment to promote positive change and advancement all around us.