March 23 Minister Moment

This is a rare week with no Friday events at UCN. Don’t despair … Hampton Roads has plenty to do.  May I suggest that tonight (Friday) you head over to Virginia Wesleyan University? It is a benefit called “2018 Empty Bowls,” a fundraiser for hunger relief organizations including the Food Bank and many more. It’s also a way to come home with a custom made bowl that reminds you of the event and of the continuing problem of hunger in Coastal Virginia. for more info.

While we are on the subject of food, the week ahead will be busy for many Jewish families.  It is time to clean the house so completely that not one crumb of bread (or leaven) remains. Pesach (or Passover), the feast of unleavened bread begins on Friday night, March 30. For those who observe, may you have a wonderful seder meal to celebrate. The story of the Exodus tells that, in fleeing Egypt, the Israelites did not have time to let their bread rise, so they cooked it anyway. This unleavened bread, called matzoh, kept the Israelites fed in the desert. 

The Passover seder meal includes one tradition we celebrate at UCN/CVUU.  One place is left empty at the table in hopes that an unexpected guest, perhaps the prophet Elijah, will arrive. And, in our midst, may there always be room for one more.

In some traditions of Christianity the “Last Supper” is said to be a seder meal, complete with bread and wine. This Sunday begins “Holy Week” in Christian circles. Palm Sunday celebrates the day when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem on the back of an ass … or donkey or burro …  As he arrived, celebrants placed tree branches along the path … palm leaves being the assumed type of tree- Palm Sunday. In some more Christian Unitarian congregations this is a big thing. One of my colleagues has already selected a rent-a-donkey for the event. Not at UCN. .. we have carpets. For those interested in trivia, look up “zonkey” on the Internet.

Thanks to the four folks who signed up as Projectionists this past Sunday … This Sunday I hope we can get a few more, so everyone can have a turn pushing buttons … or otherwise helping to project announcements here at UCN. When we move to Virginia Beach there will be a better designed system! But for now…

A request: Do you have an old laptop, perhaps one from the Windows XP era, which works but you’ve stopped using?  If so, our projection team might be able to use it. We will wipe the hard drive and re-purpose it to project announcements. Contact Doug Throp or Dave Hamby first, so we don’t get 20 or them!

By now members will have gotten announcements for a vote on our new CVUU logo. Voting will be next week, and then creative folks can get together and fabricate a congregational banner. Our current banner hangs in the social hall above the Fair Trade Table. Banners are traditionally brought to UU assemblies and paraded to show who is in the hall. Our Unitarian Universalist General Assembly has a parade of hundreds of banners, and will be the ‘unveiling’ of our new logo and name to the UU World. “GA” is in Kansas City, MO from June 20-24. Registration is open and the board authorized assistance for those wishing to go as delegates. is the website. Contact UCN president Allen Perry about being a delegate.

Sunday’s service is a Celebration of our relationship to this congregation is as stewards. Each of us is a keeper of the flame, and our annual Stewardship Campaign calls us to consider and commit to our continuing financial support of the organization. This Sunday we celebrate those who have pledged and how their gifts will further our congregation’s mission. Will we be celebrating you? Don’t forget to bring in/mail in your pledge!  Oh, and Karen Smith will be premiering a special new song … as the Yarmouth Chamber Singers perform!

Sunday we will also talk briefly about Transgender Day of Visibility, a celebration of art and talents of the transgender and gender non-binary community. The Transgender Assistance Program of Virginia is leading the Hampton Roads effort and UCN/CVUU is a co-sponsor of an event Saturday, April 7th at 2 p.m., being held at the MCC church on Sunset off Chesapeake Blvd.  

So much going on!  

Happy Spring, happy cleaning, happy eating!

Rev. Charlie

PS: Seriously, please consider your stewardship pledge level in light of our future. It takes everyone to Raise High the Flame!  Rob Curran, our Stewardship Committee chair says:

“To meet the financial obligations of this church, a goal of $375,000 was set by our finance committee.  Over $280.000 has been pledged as of midweek, and new pledges arrive in the UCN office daily. Now is the time to fill out your pledge card … bring it in Sunday, or drop it in the mail.

BIG NEWS: We have a donor is who willing to do a dollar-for-dollar pledge match after we exceed $325,000 dollars pledged. This pledge match is for up to $25,000 ($50,000 combined.) Hooray!!

Pledge now, pledge today! Do not wait for us to exceed $325,000 before you pledge. When we pass the $325,000 mark, the stewardship committee will publish additional information to maximize this generous pledge match offer.”

See you this Sunday. There will be cake!