15 September Minister Moment

Last weekend was fantastic.  A good crowd gathered at 809 S. Military Hwy to help clean up the landscaping at the new property. Clearing trees, limbs and discovering sections of parking lot under years of leaf accumulation occupied the squad of CVUU-ers. I came to mostly take pictures but managed to get poison ivy anyway.  

Sunday Morning we celebrated NOT having a hurricane with about 30 members of the congregation creating a human ark… well, a Babylonian ark… complete with gods and animals. Matt Griset recruited a stellar team of musicians to carry the theme of water. Our Second Sunday collection received two thousand dollars for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts. Dr. Brian Brennan read an original poem about our flood story and then the Membership Committee and volunteers put on a wonderful Welcome Back Luncheon. Thank you to Nancy Duncan and all the teams that helped!

After an hour or so of cleanup it was time for the community. Mayor Kenneth Alexander and an expert panel came to talk about manipulative drawing of voting districts to a crowd of over one hundred community members. Gerrymandering, as it is called, can be used to both disenfranchise voters, create confusion which suppresses voting (a single ward can be divided between three or more assembly seats) and to increase costs of elections. There are solutions to make voting districts fairer and more representative.

Learning about this issue was the beginning of a process — for we, as Coastal Virginia Unitarian Universalists, might take a public stand for election fairness. Look for petition signers this Sunday wanting your signature for a CVUU Public Statement meeting.  

Note that to sign members must have begun paying on their pledges. Perhaps this week you can put your first check in the basket, or some cash with your name on the envelope. This follows the process in the bylaws.  

But wait! Sunday we will also have a second proposed CVUU Public Statement, this one opposing discrimination in the US military due to sexual identity or gender expression. Find Paul Greggs or one of the other clipboard carriers and sign on!

Beyond Sunday: Paul Harrell reports that our Second Monday Buddhist Affinity Group is going well .. They meet at 7 PM on (wait for it…) the Second Monday in the Curtis Room.

I’m preaching this next Sunday on our congregation and community. Part of the service will be the blessing of our teachers’ hands and the official start of our children’s religious education program. We have a chance to say thank you to our teachers… and bless their work.

If you have been attending UCN for a while and are interested in becoming a member of our congregation, there will be a class to teach basic membership: “Pathways to Membership” following the service in the Curtis Room  (e-mail membership@ucnorfolk.org to register.) The Board of Trustees will also have a listening session at the same time in the sanctuary.

And then: Later this month we will be hosting a community event called Social Justice University, Sunday September 24 in the afternoon.  

Our Racial Justice Task Force has been active, and will be holding trainings coming up in October.

All this to make the point… the congregation’s church year has begun.

I love you,
Rev Charlie