27 January Minister’s Moment

Greetings from a Wednesday Night at the Unitarian Church of Norfolk! It is a quiet night. The Norfolk Emergency Shelter Team’s work at UCN is done! Last night was the final night of our NEST week. As I left the Worship Services Committee meeting Tuesday the Dinner Crew was heading out, the Greeter Crew was minding the door, and the Overnight Crew was just arriving. Forty or so members of our community who are homeless were settling in for the night. Thank You.

Last night’s sound of snoring has been replaced tonight with our Choir’s warmups. The Care Team has just completed their early meeting, and Janet Marvel and the Grief Group have come up to the Curtis Room for the first of their weekly meetings. The flooding of the Hague has subsided. Water cut off our parking lot a few nights ago, but no damage done. Forecasts are for normal tides ahead. Tonight the water sparkles, and the evening is warm for January.

Now the choir is singing Amazing Grace, and I’m going over my notes from the Caring Team. Elisa Dickon and Paula Echols were the rotating leaders for January, and Maggie Chubb and Martha Shore will take over in February. At the meeting we talked about several members with recent operations and medical conditions. Each week we read from the book of life, sharing information about good fortune and bad. Some folks want visitors, others only cards. In a few cases the Caring Team asks me to go go visit, and I try to fit it into my schedule – and I find that a Caring Team member has already been there and arranged for visits or delivery of a meal or two.

This week the Caring Team was discussing follow up on the Death Cafe held in October. They decided to hold a second event next year, also in October. A non-profit called “Death Cafe” provides a script and set of questions for a facilitated discussion. Participants talk of feelings and hopes related to their own deaths, and last fall’s Cafe was so popular, we split into two groups. The Team then turned to discussion of a packet of Bereavement Resources we will make available on the UCN website for families and friends planning celebrations of life. Stay tuned for an update on this!

Have you noticed the manila cards for messages to the Caring Team in our pews? Take a look, and say “thanks” to Mike Breslin who designed them.

As the choir starts in on “Lift Every Voice and Sing” I think about how we at UCN can make our voice heard in Virginia. One issue that is now a hot topic is “Gerrymandering” where legislators get to decide legislative districts. This is often based on maximizing power for the party in control – rather than using objective criteria. Our friends in Lynchburg brought this to the UU professionals group, and it looks like a good, and logical cause. The local group working on this is: http://onevirginia2021.org/
We will have a hearing on a proposed Congregational Resolution after church on Sunday, with a vote at the congregational meeting on February 5th.

Last Friday I went to see “Hidden Figures” about segregation and NASA Langley. Good movie. This week we have a coffeehouse as our Friday Evening activity. Come for karaoke and open mike performance at 7. Then on Feb 10 we have a pot luck dinner honoring our staff.

Sunday’s topic is What Do You See? I’ll be talking about points of view, and Garland Tillery and Laura Moss will perform a Duet by Telemann.

Something you can do right now: The UUA Southern Region is announcing a Chalice Lighters call for donations. The proposal comes from First UU Richmond to create regional leaders related to the Pledge to End Racism program. See details at http://www.uua.org/southern/chalice-lighters

See you soon, I love you,
Rev Charlie