“We don’t have to be perfect, just engaged and committed to aligning values with actions.” ~ Brenè Brown
It is so wonderful to be able to once again gather both in person and online on Sunday mornings, isn’t it? Our collective fingers are crossed in hope that the days of online-only services are over. Being a multi-platform congregation offers everyone the opportunity to participate in a way that is most comfortable for them! But the pandemic has changed us – changed the way we do things, the way we work with others, the way we view our commitments, and the way we engage in community. There is a plethora of opinion and research on how society has been changed by the events of the past two years. Some of the change may be seen as positive, some less than positive, and some just perplexing.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about change in relation to the UUCD community, most especially the visitors we have had on Sunday mornings and the new members ready to commit to being a part of our congregation. It’s been interesting to meet our visitors and find people who are seeking community and interested in values rather than beliefs. These are people who describe themselves as “conservative” and hope they will be welcome as they share our UU values. I assure them that we are committed to our mission statement that claims we are “an open religious community that welcomes a diversity of people, ideas and beliefs”. That’s a commitment that defines us and challenges us.
We are not a perfect place and I have yet to see a perfect congregation of any denominational stripe. But as Brenè Brown says, we don’t have to be perfect. I actually tell potential new members that if they’re looking for a perfect community, they’re looking in the wrong place! But if they’re looking for people who are engaged and committed to aligning values with actions, we may be just the right place for them. The pandemic hasn’t changed our commitment to “Stand as a beacon for independent thought, and encourage lifelong spiritual and intellectual exploration”. This too is part of our mission.
Last month I encouraged us all to commit ourselves to being flexible and I continue to encourage such as we navigate the changing protocols for gathering together in person. But this month I’m specifically asking all of us to reflect on our commitments to UUCD as we consider membership, engagement, and welcoming diversity. What an exciting time we find ourselves in!
Grateful for commitment to community,