From Rev. Barbara’s Couch: May 2020

By the Rev. Barbara Threet

It’s almost May already – a third of 2001 has already passed! The 2020-21 church year is drawing to a close!

UU churches (and many other religious bodies too) all across the country are contemplating what this autumn might bring. Many of us are hoping it will be possible to meet in person again, although it’s unclear what sorts of adaptations or changes will need to be incorporated in order for that to actually be safe, and to feel safe as well. After a year and a half apart, it will be very welcome – and probably a little bit strange – to gather again in person. Our church, like so many others, is busy planning for the 2021-22 church year.

For me, it’s also a time to plan: I have my preaching schedule set for next year and I’m filling in topics. I’m also considering what Adult RE classes to offer. I plan for two monthly Zoom classes again next year, open to those who are part of the UU churches at Rutland, Glens Falls and Bennington. They’ll each start in September or October and run through May or June, with no class in December. They’ll meet on Zoom on a regular monthly weeknight to be determined by likely participants. So, I’d like your feedback: I’m considering five options, and will offer the two that generate the most interest. There’s a minimum of 6 people needed to run a class with a maximum of 19 (so that we all fit on one Zoom screen). It’s certainly too early to actually commit to participating, but it’s helpful to know the interest in participation, as opposed to knowing what people would like to see offered. So, please let me know if you’d be interested in actively participating in any of the following Zoom classes:

  1. Who, Me? An Elder? – broadly explores aging, based on a UUA curriculum
  2. Exploring Transcendentalism – through the writings of several well-known and not-so-well
    known Transcendentalists, to explore the impact of their lives and work
  3. The Bible Says – examining several stories and sections in Hebrew and Christian scriptures
  4. Making Ethical Choices – a repeat of the class offered this year, based on a UUA curriculum
  5. UU History through Biography – a consideration of the lives and impacts of several well-
    known and not-so-well-known Universalists, Unitarians, and Unitarian Universalists

I’m also considering what to offer in person, assuming that’s possible. Three years ago, a Building Your Own Theology class was formed at UUCGF – and nine of us (plus me) are still meeting each month! It’s been a joy to explore a wide range of topics over these years, and to create a place to deepen our connections with one another. Especially in this Zoom year, it’s been a great blessing to have such companions. I’ve wondered whether to start another such group next year, so let me know if you’d be interested. It would be held at a mutually-agreeable time, as a monthly gathering over the weekends when I’m in Queensbury.

Finally, as we prepare for next year, I want to especially recognize our Re-opening Task Force, which is chaired by our treasurer, Mike Goodwin, and consists of Xanath Bailey, Jean Grant, Rich Myette, and myself. You can read more about their excellent work in Mike’s article elsewhere in this newsletter. All of us at UUCGF have a part to play as we move toward a wonderful and celebratory 2021-22 church year, however that may unfold. I look forward to seeing you all then – actually seeing you, in

Shalom and Salaam,
Rev. Barbara