16 June Minister Moment

Come Sunday — it’s Father’s Day. Come hear the voices of fathers, the voices of children and the voices of community. We will have our first Baby Blessing of the year. We will give our UCN Banner its last send off to General Assembly. The Choir will sing about Lovingkindness and Love and we might even end early before everyone overheats!

Thanks to all who helped this week at the Interfaith LGBTQSI Celebration — it was wonderful to see so many attending. The collection from that night will go to the LGBT Center. We get to keep the memories though.

Also, please reserve a couple of hours on Sunday, July 9th. In addition to preaching that day I want you to join me in discussion about how the congregation interacts with the minister and ministry. Please reserve from 12 – 2 PM to sit in air-conditioned comfort and talk about our congregation’s future. The Committee on Ministry will host.

Summer is coming, and with the beginning of summer services come vacations and staff changes. Matt Griset, our Director of Music will be taking the summer off, and this week’s choir performance will be the last time they all have to sit in “the hot seats” until our Homecoming service on September 10. Chanelle Gontarz is moving to Connecticut for new adventures. She will work remotely this summer, finishing up some projects, including the Annual Report. We will be working on hiring a new Communications Coordinator for September. Thank you Chanelle!

Susie Gullixson will be working through the summer, providing bookkeeping and office management, but taking Fridays off (note to those who do things last minute!) Our Director of Religious Education, Brian Brennan, hands over leadership of the summer children’s religious education tasks to the Children’s Religious Education Committee, and will be present planning for the Autumn, recruiting and training teachers and selecting curriculum sessions. Youth Program Coordinator Paul Greggs is planning some exciting outdoor summer activities for teens, one per month. He and Brian are also planning our comprehensive sexuality education program called Our Whole Lives, or OWL.  Paul traveled to Boston this spring to become an OWL instructor.

Selene will be here this summer too. A force of calm amongst the nursery energy fields! Say “hi” to her on Sundays, and perhaps “Thank You!” as well. It is good that the Nursery has an air conditioner!

I am off to the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly in New Orleans, my old stomping grounds. I also have some vacation, and study leave. I will be back to preach once in July and once in August. The rest of the Sundays will be filled with guest speakers and members of the congregation speaking on “Growth” as it relates to Unitarian Universalism in Coastal Virginia.

This has been a good year for the Unitarian Church of Norfolk. Our staff has grown and learned. We have formed as a team. I look forward to the next year as we do the work of developmental ministry. Last year our staff developed a Staff Covenant which we read aloud at staff meetings:

In the interest of promoting spiritual growth and right relations within and beyond the Unitarian Church of Norfolk, I, as a member of the professional staff of UCN, covenant to:
-Follow the Covenant of Right Relations as a model for my interactions with the staff and congregation.
-Promote healthy business practices in a professional manner, with attention to good stewardship of all resources.
Recognizing that my interactions with my colleagues affect the entire congregation, I agree to support, encourage, and express appreciation of my colleagues’ work. attend to group process, by taking time to remember what is important, to thoughtfully reflect, and to play, encourage open communication, in the interest of effective decision-making for the common good, approach concerns and issues with direct communication, working toward resolution and with respect for confidentiality
Faithfully done, the work of the staff carries forward the ministry and mission of this church to provide loving community, foster courageous spiritual growth, and inspire lives of integrity, joy, compassion, and service. “

Blessings and Happy Pride!
I love you
Rev Charlie