Minister’s Letter – December 2019

Dear UUSA,

Just like that, we are suddenly in the rush: holiday rush, sugar rush, and the rush to use precious daylight in these shortest days of the year. In all this rush, keep breathing. It will get done, or it won’t. Whether the pie is homemade or store-bought, whether the house is decorated with great cheer or full of increasingly indistinct piles of clean and dirty laundry, whether we’re feeling jolly or downright Scrooge-like, the holidays will come to naughty and nice alike. My invitation to you is to be how you need to be this year. Be merry, be bright, be joyful, be thoughtful, be quiet; be exactly how you need to be.

The holidays at UUSA this year will be quite a feast for diverse appetites:

12/7 Winter Revelry. This all-ages party will launch our holiday season with soup, singing, raffles, cookies, and fun. Bring your friends!

12/15 Sunday Service: December a Time to Remember. Our Religious Education program will lead the Sunday service on 12/15 with singing and a look at how Unitarians, Universalists, and Unitarian Universal- ists have shaped our winter holidays.

12/21 Solstice: Quiet Lights. This contemplative evening service is a time to honor the darkness and wel- come the return of light with singing and candlelight.

12/22 Sunday Service: Hanukkah is for Rebels. Before the first night of Hanukkah, we pause to remember the lessons of hope, resistance, and resilience in the Hanukkah story. (There is no Religious Education on this day. Children are welcome to go to childcare or attend the service.)

12/24 Christmas Eve: O Holy Night. Both of these evening services will have singing and candlelight. The earlier one will feature a story for all ages, and the later one will feature a homily.

Congregational Conversation on 12/15: I hope you can come to the congregational conversation following the service. We’ll check in with one another as a congregation, talk about where we’re growing and where we want to grow, and listen to each others’ hopes for the congregation.

‘Tis the season for charity appeals, I know, and here’s one more. The Minister’s Discretionary Fund needs replenishment. The Discretionary Fund is a source of direct help for community members, and it frequently covers the gaps between other sources of help. I have recently had the opportunity to share these funds with community members on your behalf, and I anticipate that the need in our community will continue during this season of giving. The offerings on Solstice and Christmas Eve will benefit the Discretionary Fund, but I would gladly receive contributions in advance. Please send checks to the office with Minister’s Discretionary Fund in the memo line. On behalf of everyone who has received or will receive this direct assistance, I offer my deepest thanks. However the holidays strike you this year, please know that you are infinitely valuable and deeply loved. Thank you for being part of this community of free faith.

For all the holidays and anydays of this season, I wish you joy.

Rev. Rachael

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