It is important to have a secret, a premonition of things unknown. We must sense that we live in a world which in some respects is mysterious. That things happen and can be experienced which remain inexplicable; that not everything which happens can be anticipated. The unexpected and incredible belong in this world. Only then is life complete. - Carl Jung
As the new year approaches we may think we have a sense of what lies ahead, but none of us really do. We live in unpredictable times and our best estimates of what might happen next are only best estimates of what might happen next. I am content to let the year play out in its own way, but that doesn't mean I won't supply my own running commentary along with it!! There are too many important things going on in the world that demand our input and attention. I'll be writing my share of sermons and posting personal comments here and there. Of course, just when you think you've got it all figured out, that's when the unexpected steps in. That is the Mystery that keeps us off balance just enough to keep us honest. We don't really know!! When it comes right down to it we have to trust the unknown. It is the unknown that holds it all together. Now, if you're waiting for me to say something more about the unknown, what can I say?! That's just it!! Enough said.
Every time I walk across our rope bridge I get a sense of this walking into the unknown. The repeating sequence of spliced rope, handrail and planking duplicates itself to the point where you loose track of the individual parts and it just extends into infinitude (actually it only runs 70 feetů). With each step I am suspended in mid-air with a slight bounce and sway, yet I am also grounded to the sturdy spruce trees on either end of the bridge. We can trust the unknown in the same way. It will hold us up, provide us with a great view and give us a little bounce as we stride into the new year. I plan to explore similar themes this winter in my sermon series titled "Woods and Stream: Reflections on Place and Spirit." It has been 20 years since I built the cabin on the Meduxnekeag River and I think it's time to rummage through my old journals and see what I can find of interest. I will be writing some new material as well and attempt to gain some perspective on this 20 year experiment. We are all related to place and spirit. Our winter dialogue will explore where that has led each of us.
Step into the new year with vigor
The end of the year is traditionally a busy time for the board of trustees and it does seem like we've been busy as bees this fall and winter.
Or church hosted a workshop by spiritual life coach, Holli Nicknair entitled Set Your Spirit Free: Build a Healthy Relationship with Your Inner Critic. It was well attended by both members and the general public.
We've been striving to become more involved in social action issues and this fall's Question #1 referendum certainly inspired us to action. After calling a congregational meeting for discussion, and reaching consensus, we had no trouble pulling together the materials and manpower to make the signs stating our principles and to put them on our lawn. Certainly we are happy with the outcome of the vote.
And more recently we got together, and invited others to view the movie "Walmart: the high cost of low price" with considerable discussion afterward.
Our fall concert filled our sanctuary with people and wonderful celtic music, and helped fill some holes in our budget.
Now as we anticipate the process of budgeting for 2006 we look back with satisfaction on a completed pledge drive and with joy that having fun was part of the process. Fun-draising!
"Building maintenance issues" is a constant agenda item for our board meetings and LT usually keeps us posted on those issues. He usually also performs or coordinates the tasks to be done. Since September he's arranged for the repair of the kitchen plumbing with the addition of a new faucet. In the bathroom we now have hot running water as well as a new toilet.
At our Annual Meeting on January 15th we will once again be electing the officers of the board. The nominations for 2006 are:
There are 2 trustee positions opening for 3 year terms (2006 thru 2008.) Bill White and Addie Boyett are chosen as the nominees.
This will be my last edition of "moderator's notes" as my tenure as moderator will be ending just after the Annual Meeting in January. During these last 2 years I have strived to guide the board toward a more precise observance of our bylaws and more transparency in our dealings with each other and the congregation. We anticipate electing Ann Rheinlander as moderator for 2006, and I'm sure she will be an efficient and compassionate leader.
I wish you all a happy, healthy and wonderful holiday season. ...Karen
PLEDGE CAMPAIGN FOR 2006
How many Unitarians does it take to run a successful pledge campaign? You're right, every single one. As of 12/17/05 our total 2006 pledge stands at $16,201.00. Special thanks to my committee members, Adeline Boyette for planning and staging our very successful 'Silent Auction' at our pledge drive kick off luncheon. We earned $84.00 amid much laughter and joy of fellowship. Thanks also to Carol Cromwell for handling the details of our potluck luncheon including her own very generous and delicious 'beef slow cook'. Thanks to Phillip Crowley for his steady encouragement and enthusiastic willingness to help wherever needed. Special thanks as well to Rev. Dave who quietly struck the right note of calm and reason which kept us focused but not obsessed. We did it. We all did it. Now it's on to the budget planning for 2006. ...Ann Rheinlander
WORDS OF THANKS
COVENANT CIRCLE GROUP
This is a group that meets several times during the year and explores what it means to be in covenant and how we relate to each other in community. We take a closer look at our own Seven Principles and The Four Agreements as found in Don Miguel Ruiz's best-selling book of the same name. All of those interested in exploring the day-in and day-out practice of being in spiritual community are encouraged to join the circle.
MONDAY EVENING CONVERSATIONS
Once again we have planned several sessions of discussion during the long winter months. Please see the calendar for specific dates and times. We are still taking suggestions for interesting topics of your choice. In our first session, which is on January 30th, Dave will be showing a one hour DVD of Thomas Merton: A Film Biography. He will share a short presentation of Merton's work and field questions about the film and his writings. Here is information about the film as found on the jacket cover: