May 4 Minister Moment

Thank you to the Worship Services Committee for arranging Sunday services while I am away. You will have two of my friends and your neighbors in the pulpit for the next two weeks.  Welcome Walter Clark this week and Rev. David Morris next. They will begin consideration of our May theme of “Failure and Hope.” Also, the WSC solicited possible monthly themes for next year and got 23 suggestions from Adversity to Values (and 21 more in between – nobody suggested “Yeomanship” or “Zippers”, so there were no Y’s or Z’s.) The WSC will work with the new minister on refining the selections. Enjoy!

I hear tell that the Potluck last week was a rousing success (I saw the photos on Facebook!)  Congratulations to the cooks, planners and performers and to everyone. Take it as a hopeful indication of things to come at Coastal Virginia Unitarian Universalists – a vision of the future!

This past week I visited the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie, PA; they asked me to come and interview as their new settled minister.  In our discussions I kept thinking of all of you, and the wonderful journey we have taken together. Erie is in the north, as far north as you can get in Pennsylvania, and very close to Canada.That doesn’t mean that all is well racially, though members of the community, especially the Catholics in the community, are working hard to teach and welcome diversity. It will be a challenging job.

I am also preparing to visit Mexico hosted by partners of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. This will be a stretch for me, but I am preparing by reading two books:  “Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal” by Aviva Chomsky, and “Introducing Latino/a Theologies” by Miguel A. De La Torre & Edwin David Aponte.

The first is a step by step explanation of how U.S. Government policy shifted during the twentieth century, from welcoming all Europeans and allowing free access to Mexicans evolving to our current maze of regulations and quotas and bans. Anxiety, fear and confusion are now normal and can be considered tools used by our government.

The second book works to fill a void, where theological differences from the power and center of a nation hides beliefs in the margins. Our visit to Arizona and Mexico will come in a month that has seen an increase in asylum seeking from Central America.  What does that really mean to those involved? I’ll be preaching some of this on Memorial Day weekend. Sadly, I believe this will fit with our theme of “Failure and Hope” – I hope to see you then.

Beyond that, I wish you a relaxing month of May, and wear a hat– and sunscreen.  

With love,

Rev. Charlie

PS:  “May the Fourth be with you”