A Stable Faith…….. by Rev. Shayna Appel

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.  ~ Heather Warman

Welcome to November and the spiritual practice (and Soul Matters theme) of Change!  Here in New England, November seems to be the perfect time to explore change. As the ground beneath our feet begins to freeze and the former greenery of summer, having set itself ablaze in October, now lies underfoot, the harvest has been put up, and as of November 6th, even daylight saving time will come to an end.

Everywhere around us, and also within us, change is constantly happening — for better and for worse!  I cannot keep track of the sheer number of conversations I have had over the last few years about all that’s changed in the wake of the COVID pandemic.  Both the number of conversations and the amount of things that have changed are legion.

In thinking of all that surrounds me on a daily basis, I notice one thing that hasn’t changed: the people who have been stepping up to serve here at UUCM are still stepping up.  And seriously, thanks be for their tenacious hearts!

Thanks be for those who raise the funds, run the technology, generate the newsletters, host the community suppers, sing in the choir, teach our children, make the crafts, and quietly care for members when they need some extra attention.  Thanks be for those of you who manage the invested funds of the church, the budgets, the mission, the holiday fair, and a thousand other things.  Thanks to those of you who make the coffee and put out the snacks on Sunday mornings.  Thanks be for the two members who, in additional to their annual pledges, made anonymous donations to the tune of $6,170.00 so that we could build a multi-platform network to help us all stay connected.  I could go on…

In thinking of all that surrounds me on a daily basis and the sheer volume of change happening at all times everywhere, I give thanks for the handful of folks here at UUCM who have been unwaveringly shouldering the bulk of the work since I arrived.  The 80:20 rule has been around for a very long time, and not just here.  If you take a careful look at most organizations, you will see that about 80% of the work is accomplished by about 20% of the membership.

Here’s the thing, though…  One thing that has absolutely changed — particularly over these last two years — is that everyone is tired.  Fatigued, really.  Just wrung out. 

So, I’m writing today to the 80% of you who have been hanging low these last few years to ask if you would consider introducing a little change into your lives. I’m inviting you to become one of the truly active members here at UUCM.  It’s a great time to get involved.

We are honing our mission, we are sharpening our focus, we are trying new things, and we are learning together every day.  In the process, we are growing our UU values and strengthening our UU faith.  We are getting to know one another more deeply.  But we cannot continue this work without you — ALL OF YOU! 

So, come in and figure out where you can get involved!  In the words of the wonderful and talented Sheryl Crow, “A change will do you good!”

Blessings & Shalom,