The Best of Times; The Worst of Times
posted May 11, 2023

After service on Sunday April 30, the Transition Team gathered with members of the congregation to explore our decades of history together. We invited everyone to share what they knew and what they had heard about USG by putting their memories down on Post-it notes and adding them to boards around the dining room.

The thirty or so people who joined us explored everything: the great, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the uncomfortable. We confronted our missteps and celebrated our successes. And we all learned a thing or two.

Mostly what we learned is something perhaps we already knew: from the beginning of this congregation, we have centered social justice work and community as part of who we are. From fighting against blockbusting to fighting for a fair wage to standing in support of Ukraine, USG has been there. It is woven into the tapestry of our history. It is what we do. It is who we are. And we will continue to stand up for justice and our neighbors and our communities as we move forward.

The boards are still up in the dining room for everyone to see. Please join us and add your memories to our tapestry! There are Post-its and pens available. Tell us, what do you know and what have you heard?

Transition – The process or period of changing from one state or condition to another (New Oxford American Dictionary) posted May 3, 2023

We at USG are in a state of transition, indeed, having said goodbye to our minister of 20+ years, and saying our goodbyes to our interim Director of Spiritual Development as she embarks on her new adventure in ministry. And at the same time we are getting to know our Interim Minister, Rev. Cheryl, we face having to say goodbye to her next year as we prepare to welcome a new settled minister. 

We have a lot to do over these two years, friends. 

This is a time to consider who we are as a community, where we’ve been, and where we want to go. It’s a time to consider and hold onto what we truly value and what makes USG a special place. And it’s a time to look to the future and imagine our place in and what we have to offer to this neighborhood, this city, and this world. 

It might feel overwhelming, but fear not. The UUA has created guidance for us to help navigate this time, and Rev. Cheryl is leading a Transition Team who will walk us through every step of the process. The Team was introduced to the community earlier in the church year; we are: Rev. Cheryl, Maggie Birge-Caracappa, Charles Gabriel, Shobhi Kanal, and Jenn Leiby. 

The Transition Team has been hard at work first facilitating a series of cottage chats, where we engaged in appreciative inquiry to find out how the community is feeling about USG. Our second project was talking about our history, not just the timeline and highlights over the last 150+ years, but the stories we tell each other about what we’ve experienced in our USG community. 

The results of our chats so far have been turned into a word cloud hanging in the dining room and into chalices posted around the church highlighting common responses to our questions. Boards with our memories and stories are hanging in the dining room, and post-its are available for you to add your memories as well!

Watch this spot for all things Transition! We will update as we go along in this process, we will talk about things that come up in this journey, and we will keep you informed about next steps. 

Come, come, whoever you are.