In the Interim, February 2021
“The Beloved Community [is] not a goal or destination, and it was not any kind of idealistic, Christian utopian dream, but instead a way of being – spiritually, politically, economically, emotionally, intellectually. Beloved Community is an attitude, an orientation of the heart; it’s a disciplined understanding of your own relationship to other people, to everyone else on the planet, to every living thing.” Rev. Victoria Safford
Our ministry theme for February is “Building Beloved Community”, which will be explored in our worship, small groups and religious exploration, and even by individuals reflecting about what it means to be part of a Beloved Community.
To me, Beloved Community is one of those ideas that is more about the journey than the destination. It is through our continued actions, reactions, adapting to changes, listening, making space to become more inclusive, learning, growing, becoming that we build the community of which we dream. And through all of this building, the community of which we dream is continually being reframed, always just out of reach as we strive to live into our changing vision of who we will become. A living, breathing, embodied, beautiful and perfectly imperfect human community, always aspiring to life more fully into its ideal. UCV is richly blessed with all of the building blocks needed for this work.
In community we are bound to encounter different opinions. It is said, where there are 2 UU’s there will be at least 5 different opinions! How we engage in conversation with one another to hear and find a way through our differences is what creates lasting community. The Ministerial Transition Team has begun a new task force at the request of the UCV Board to review the recent process of the Redevelopment Committee as well as looking at some conflicts that have happened or have been avoided in UCV history in order to create a new process, a pathway for facilitating inclusive, efficient, collaborative decisions.
The Transitions Team is also planning to report back to the congregation about it’s comprehensive and exciting review of UCV History during a worship service on Feb 28. To be clear, this work is not an official archival history, rather more anecdotal, teasing out of stories from the fabric woven by over a century of building community together. These are your stories, the good the bad and the ugly, the humorous and the hurtful, the celebrations, achievements and rhythms of life that have shaped UCV. “Telling our stories is not an end in itself, but an attempt to release ourselves from them, to evolve and grow beyond them.” (Huffington Post). This is the first major task of the Ministerial Transition, coming to terms with history. From there, UCV can really begin to embrace the next tasks, which have already begun.
The five goals of Transition are listed again below to remind you of the work you have already done and the pathway forward. The Board and the Transitions Team are engaging with these tasks as they prepare to make decisions about changes to staffing and governance structure that will make UCV systems more efficient and effective, allowing new leadership to emerge and welcoming newcomers to join in building this Beloved Community.
5 Focus Points of Transition
1. Heritage: reviewing how the congregation has been shaped and formed
2. Leadership: reviewing the membership needs and its ways of organizing and developing new and effective leadership
3. Mission: defining and redefining sense of purpose, identity and direction
4. Connections: Renewing and connecting with relationships and resources in the wider community
5. Future: Preparing to engage in a new future with renewed vision, stewardship and commitment.
Rev. Lara Cowtan