Feb. 16 Minister Moment

Thanks to all who participated in the Employee Appreciation Dinner, who brought food, spoke, and generally made it a merry evening. Rob Curran, taking time from his work in the Stewardship Campaign, did a fine job of organizing the event. Thanks to Nancy Duncan and all who said YES and lent a hand (or a plate of fried chicken) to the event!

Rob’s career in the Navy was being one who makes things happen. In his retirement he has turned his attention to projects with the congregation. He’s leading our Stewardship Campaign this year – with lock-step precision. Don’t worry, he doesn’t make us salute, but things are moving fast! You will be getting a pledge letter in the mail, consider the words carefully as you calculate your level of financial participation in this community. This being tax season, it’s the perfect time to think about how your dollars are used to create a future for our community and our world. 

We keep pledge levels confidential, and do not name things after large donors because we know each situation is unique. The board recently debated creating a way of being a member for those who once were active, who now do not have any way of contributing time or money, and who are clearly members of our community. Thank you to the Board for drawing the circle wide and including them.

On February 25th we will be “lighting” the chalice together as a ritual of community. Each of us is part of the flame, and we will illustrate this by putting our names on member-flames… during the service. You can send in your pledge form, or bring it in on the 25th, or come listen to the service and think about how much you can share this year, we still want you to participate in our ritual.

This past week I attended a meeting of “Hands United Building Bridges” an interfaith group of religious leaders working to understand the cultures of Hampton Roads. They sponsored the showing of Marshall about Thurgood Marshall, and other MLK related events back in January. HUBB is participating in two spring events at Virginia Wesleyan University: March 19 at 7 PM “Slavery, the Holocaust, and Stories that Shape Us”, and April 30 at 7 PM “Are Religious People More Racist?” Many more events on their website: https://www.vwu.edu/center-for-the-study-of-religious-freedom/

I am back to preaching again! Last week I spoke to Newport News about Mardi Gras, but this week I’m back in Norfolk to speak on “Just, Noticeable Differences”  and, perhaps, the evolution of justice?

Wednesday was the beginning of the Christian season of Lent. Some folks give up something during the 40 days as a way of becoming more aware.  Unitarian Universalists might hark back to the Puritan views – they did not like the Catholic rituals. Others use the time to give attention to something different. I chatted with one woman who promotes taking time, listening to, and observing birds during the season.  Others go without chocolate or without meat.  The days leading up to Easter certainly provide a time for anticipation– of spring, of change, of maybe even hope.  Whatever you do, welcome to Lent.

I wish our nation would give up guns for Lent … maybe that would start a trend.  Something beyond “Thoughts and Prayers” is needed, but I have no words.  I am wondering how we as a congregation can help our nation change.

In peace,

Rev Charlie.