From Rev. Julie

On Sunday, Sept 25, 2022, twenty-six folks gathered with Rev. Julie for a conversation about the Sunday experience at UUCW. We were experimenting with a particular way to deeply listen to one another, a format that may be used for other community conversations during the interim period.

Interim Ministry focuses on five areas of congregational life: heritage, leadership, connections, mission, and future. We’ll be looking at coming to terms with UUCW’s history, how leadership evolves and governs, this congregation’s place in the wider UU world, and at who and what UUCW wants to be going forward. And the success of this interim time depends on your engagement with these questions, and your willingness to be both vulnerable and open to unfolding possibilities. 

Our conversation this past week focused on the Sunday experience, not because I was looking for what needs to be changed or altered. Nor was I interested in knowing how to best please you. The point was for YOU to hear EACH OTHER so that you might better understand how to coexist as diverse individuals within a community of meaning.  

In order to include those unable to attend, here’s a word cloud created from how folks completed this sentence: When I am uplifted/inspired/moved during a Sunday service (or on Sunday AM), it’s because…  

What’s captured above expresses what currently uplifts and inspires on Sunday mornings, at least for those present for this conversation. Just sharing that with one another meant hearing where there are resonances and where there are differences…and hearing it directly and personally from someone right up close. This helps, I hope, to build some resilience to experiencing and appreciating a variety of styles and expressions of spirituality, knowing that each expression is authentic to another among us.  

Then, having heard and expressed what’s meaningful for us as individuals, we dreamed of “what could be” for UUCW as a community. Each person put forward a possibilities statement that began, I believe that together, worship at UUCW can be… 

Here’s a second word cloud capturing those visions for the future: 

What do you notice in these images? Do they capture what you would have shared? What inspires you, and what do you dream of for Sundays at UUCW?  

Working with the Transitions Team, I will be facilitating many such conversations with all of you, using this format, or something different. Whatever the topic and whatever the format, the goal will be to create opportunities for you to share and listen, so that this process includes as many UUCW voices as possible. In other words, your participation matters.  

I’ll do my best to keep you all looped into what’s happening, and trust that you’ll do your part to ensure that your voice and presence are woven into the evolving fabric of this congregation.  

That we may be deeply connected,  

Rev. Julie