March 2 Minister Moment

 Yes, it is March already.  You have three weeks to do all those things you were going to do this winter.  Yep. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news like that. Oh, and once you’ve done your taxes, or at least estimated them, fill out you CVUU Stewardship Pledge Form. (Unless you’ve already sent it in. Thank you.)

Last Sunday was fun, I enjoyed speaking on “The Right Place, The Right Time.”  I used three readings, one by Mary Oliver called “Philip’s Birthday”, “Nothing is Static” by Rev. Manish Mishra-Marzetti, and one by Rev. Jim Curtis “Nothing is Settled, Everything Matters” (Google these, though Rev. Curtis’ book of that title didn’t seem to be available. This Sunday is March Fourth … so the sermon title is “March Forth.” Our theme is Music and Laughter … I couldn’t resist. See you Sunday.

Tonight’s fab first Friday is “Hotwheels” – which actually is a chance for kids (and older kids) to race little “Matchbox-sized” cars down a track … we have a very large space with a sloping floor, which should be perfect for racing … come find out … eat Spaghetti at 6 p.m. then play with Hotwheels or with ice. The Environmental group is screening the award-winning film, “Chasing Ice” (2012) as their movie and discussion night feature.  Check web pages, Facebook or our new monthly newsletter for more events!

I’ve been wanting to talk about committees for a while. I’ve been looking at the different activities, or ministries within the congregation and noticed that they vary in how they do their work.  

Our Social Justice Committee is very effective. There’s a large group meeting monthly, where teams report on their work. The committee allocates funds, talks budget, talks schedule conflicts and shares information. The teams work on Environmental Justice, Racial Justice, Community Forums, and Poverty and Homelessness, then reports back what’s been happening.  

Our Caring Team has a sort of a central committee to coordinate work. Each month two of this group trade reading the Book of Life and being contacts for caring situations. Then there is a large cloud of people willing to bring a meal to someone following a hip replacement or have tea with someone otherwise isolated.  

And our Worship Services Committee has a group that plans for future services. They give me feedback on past services and invite guest speakers. There are also Worship Service Associates, a larger group of trained worship leaders who are the ones you see leading the chalice lighting words, and the Stones and Shells Ritual.  

I want you to notice that there are two sorts of tasks in our congregation– considering and doing. Considering means planning … reconciling our actions with our mission and other policies. Doing means delivering lasagna, or lighting candles or running a forum.  Perhaps we assume that the same folks who can cook can plan and visa versa. But maybe there is another way. In his book “Governance and Ministry” Dan Hotchkiss talks about “Committees” who create policy– he says that committees should have diversity of background and opinion. These might be small, or, like Social Justice, they can be large. It is important that committees hear all voices. Their output is policy, budget and goals. Then “Teams” are groups that don’t debate, they do. They may not have monthly meetings.. but might get together to plan (NEST, for example) and then get it done. You don’t need everyone at every meeting.   

Our Stewardship Committee started this year by being a committee, but now it’s turning into a team. When we began, we talked policy and did some learning, but now we are doing. The Stewardship Team will be working for four more weeks to get UCN/CVUU ready for the fiscal year ahead. And because it is now “doing” you are welcome to join in as a team member. Rob Curran will be glad to find a way for you to be a part of it all.  

Recognizing the importance of Teams and the distinction between team-work and committee-work is one way this congregation can be effective in its many ministries.  

Your Developmental Minister,

Rev. Charlie

PS: Rob Curran reports that during Commitment Sunday, there were lots of smiling faces as people committed or re-committed their financial support to UCN/CVUU by adding their flame, adding their light, to our “Raise High the Fame” chalice. (There is always room for one more, come Sunday!) $178,040.00 has been pledged, which is nearly half of our $375,000.00 goal.  

All members should have received their pledge packet in the mail by now.  It describes the ambitions of this church, outlines our future financial obligations and includes a pledge form. If you not received or cannot locate the pledge packet, please visit our website ( to download a pledge form. You can submit your completed pledge form during your next visit to UCN/CVUU.  A pledge form collection box is in the rear of the sanctuary.  Alternatively, you can return your pledge form by mail.    

I want to thank you in advance for your new or renewed financial support of this beloved community.