16 December Minister’s Moment

Let’s start with a big thank you for those who went to the “Happy Holidays” celebration at the Islamic Center near ODU on Friday, December 9. We enjoyed tours of their building, bagels, cakes and conversation. I am glad so many of us showed up. I was there mid-afternoon, just before prayers, and we still had quite a crowd of U Us mingling. The weather cooperated too. I am glad that the gathering wasn’t today.

Jannie Marvel and I have been working on developing a grief group for everyone. Originally it was to start on Wednesday, but the hearing and advance voting for the new building ended up taking that time slot. So she will be starting again on January 11th, and folks may contact her directly 757-352-6150 or [email protected] to learn more.

Speaking of caring. I am pleased to announce that the Lay Pastoral Associates have added Francie Siegfried as their newest member. She and I attended training last month in Richmond and she is now part of our team. If you see her, say thanks!

“Thanks” is also a theme of a message from the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, thanking UCN for donating $1691 to the Haiti Hurricane Matthew Fund. A letter, detailing how the money will be used, is posted in the social hall.

I know that, for some of us, Hurricane Matthew is not over. This Christmas will be hard, as families were displaced and houses (and bank accounts) damaged. For any still feeling grief or isolation, please reach out. We are a caring community.

Today is a perfect day to ask yourself: “Have I paid my UCN pledge?” If you want it to count on this year’s taxes… go write the check right now! The three kings waited until January, but you don’t have to wait!

Good news: Christmas Eve, December 24, is shaping up nicely. Vicki Caminer will be leading the 6 PM reception, and we have ushers for both services (Thanks to Allison Betro for coordinating!) Dr. Brennan has readers and actors for our Pageant (5 PM) , and I have male and female voices for the readings and carols service at 7 PM. The only thing we lack… is you! Come sing your heart out on Christmas Eve!

I am looking forward to our pre- Kwanzaa festival starting at 4 PM on Saturday… I was in North Carolina last Sunday, so I missed the service (did anybody film the dance?) I hope to come, learn and celebrate!

This Sunday: Wednesday night I slipped in to the sanctuary to hear Matthew Griset rehearse the UCN choir. This Sunday will be fantastic. My sermon will take words from Dr. Howard Thurman, founding co-minister of the Church of the Fellowship of All Peoples, and an inspiration to Dr. Martin Luther King. In keeping with the mood of Yule and the earth’s Winter Solstice we will examine how this “wonderful time of the year” can turn darkness into hope. Plus we welcome new members and say thank you to Peggy Pickford!

I love you,

Rev Charlie