10 March Minister’s Moment

Spring Forward! The times, they are a-changin’. This is the Second Sunday in March, which means we will be collecting money for charitable work– this month it is for sandwich maker supplies. And also, we will meet closer to sunrise… the clocks “spring forward” at 2 AM. Of course, nature is also planning to dump some snow in the area, so travel may be a bit more dangerous. Start extra early, and be safe.

It’s a good morning to think about the year ahead. We continue to recruit for the UUA-led Southeastern UU Leadership Experience (SUULE) in central VA, August 6-11. It is a week-long intensive class for leaders and upcoming leaders at UCN. Financial assistance is available, contact Allen Perry at president@UCNorfolk.org. “Evangelists” include Martha Shore and Sally Daniel, and me.

The Nominating Committee will be looking for some new board members this month for the election in June. They are also always looking for new committee leaders. Now is the time to get yourself on their radar.

Speaking of leadership, I’m holding two evening workshops on leadership at UCN on March 23 and April 27 at 7 PM. All are invited to join in. Tell me you are coming by e-mail or sign up directly by http://signup.com/go/ob6rte (unclick the check boxes that sign you up for junk mail, otherwise it’s simple.)

On the lighter side: Mark your calendar for June 17, which is Hampton Roads Pride celebration. Each year UCN joins with our friends in Newport News and Williamsburg to represent the UU community at the Town Point Park festivities. We have a booth and talk to visitors about UU and LGBT welcoming. At this week’s Pride planning meeting, organizers mentioned the Pride Boat Parade, which takes place during the event. What would a UCN Boat look like in a Pride Parade? What message do we have for the LGBTQ community?

On Sunday, Protestant churches will reflect on a passage from the gospel of John. I found one line in it interesting: “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.” (NIV) While the context in John uses the line in a particular way, I wonder if the line was not adopted into the gospel, and was previously an independent observation by Jesus. The origin of the quote may be Jesus saying “stuff happens,” or “go with it,” and it might be related to the line about rain falling on the just and the unjust equally. It could be a call to trust. We could also relate it to a line in Spirit of Life: “Blow in the wind, rise in the sea… Spirit of Life, come to me.” Does the voice of the wind inspire you? Does it call you to action? Perhaps the Bible verse calls us to make meaning of the events in our lives right now, to learn from our own experiences.

This past week you may have been involved with A Day without A Woman/International Women’s Day. Or perhaps you wrote or called your national or state representatives. Perhaps you marched last weekend or went to a talk or training. Life certainly seems different in 2017, compared with 2016.

Here at UCN we have had our share of strong winds. Several medical situations have called us to care for each other, and two new newborns recall us to joy. The winds of March have been winds of change. Wednesday evening I spent some time with the choir as they channeled their love into beautiful music. Sunday I spent time with the Membership Committee and a dozen new folks interested in joining UCN.

The times they are a-changin’.

I love you,
Rev Charlie