by Xanath Bailey
Dear UUCGF Family and Friends,
How I love autumn! This impending season has always been one of my favorites-The weather is typically as good as it gets, the fall colors bring gorgeous landscapes to life, the smells of fallen leaves and harvest delights entrance the senses. Even my ponies love this season! I enjoy watching them react to the cool, crisp air… running and leaping with sheer joy when turned out in their field!
For many years, the shift to autumn brought to me the additional excitement of returning to school. Now that I am retired from full-time teaching, I retain fond memories of that experience, but increasingly turn my attention to what I think of as the return to the full church year. This year brings a lot of unanswered questions about what the church year will actually look like!
I recently read an article written by a member of a professional organization that was about risk and trust. The words resonated with me as we have prepared to open our meeting house for hybrid worship. They reminded me of a quote by motivational speaker, Denis Waitley, who said “Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.” While I believe this to be good advice, we each have a responsibility to determine the amount of risk we are willing to take AND the amount we are willing to expose others to. That brings me to the issue of trust. Trust is at the center of the relationships within our faith community. However, trust, like respect, is not automatically given. It has to be earned.
September marks the traditional start to our “church year.” The COVID pandemic has greatly altered our traditions during the past year and a half. Our building has been closed, and debate has surrounded when and how we can reopen and under what circumstances we can meet. We all have different tolerance for risk. This is where the issue of trust enters. Trusting that those with whom we come into contact at UUCGF are acting responsibly is essential to regaining our sense of community. Trust is also required for leadership decisions to work as we move forward. Trust is built on communication. As we intend to reopen our building for worship we are aware of the risk potential and trust that we will receive sound advice from the CDC, the state and local health departments, and our own parent organization, the UUA. The simple reality is that the situation regarding whether we truly open our doors for hybrid services has the potential to have changed by the time that you read these words!
I believe it is essential that our Board of Trustees hear from our members on what they want to see happening at UUCGF. The absence of conversation and in-person fellowship has been an isolating factor. It is easy for congregational leaders to make assumptions about what members of our community want or need. If we are to trust decisions that affect us all, then we all need to communicate. I’m interested in what you think!
~ Xanath Bailey
P.S.: Please check out the newsletter information provided by our various UUCGF committees! There is so much good stuff going on! Thank you to all who have been working hard to move our congregation forward!
P.P.S.: This fall would be a GREAT time to invite someone to church … whether on Zoom or in person! Let’s show our family, friends, and neighbors all that UUCGF has to offer!