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Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Grand Traverse – UUCGT

All are welcome here! Every Individual has Inherent Worth and Dignity (The UU First Principle).  We have a mission to free minds, grow souls, and change the world. We are choosing the Way With Heart – Join us!

office@uucgt.org | 231-947-3117
6726 Center Road, Traverse City, MI, 49686
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Please Note

Check the calendar to see which of our community fellowship activities are currently happening during the Coronavirus Epidemic, some are opportunities to connect through Zoom. You may also wish to check out our Facebook page.

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Beacon – Monthly Newsletter

Sent on the first of every month, the Beacon opens with an overview of the coming month’s Sunday Services, then shares detailed news of UUCGT activities from our Board, Staff, and Committees. The last page is always a detailed calendar of all the events and meetings in the coming month. The Beacon is edited and composed by Amanda Mangiardi; the deadline for next month’s issue is the 24th of the current month; send your questions to jomangiardi@hotmail.com 

Flash – Weekly Newsletter

Our weekly e-newsletter, sent from the UUCGT Office, shares detailed info about the weekend’s coming Services, especially the Sunday morning Service, along with quick updates from Music, Religions Education, and whichever standing or ad hoc Committees are busiest at the time. The Flash includes links to our online calendar, a weekly Bulletin Board, and usually some fun or thought-provoking images, thoughts, and quotes.  Our Office Administrator puts the Flash together; e-mail the office at office@uucgt.org

Safe Harbor group of volunteers
Safe Harbor group of volunteers
Safe Harbor group of volunteers

Rev. Alex’s Coffee Corner

Cathy Harrington

Dear Ones:
It’s that season again––gearing up for our Annual Budget Drive as a congregation! The work and ministry we do together is so important and vital. Each time we gather around to hear testimonials and pledge of our time, talent, and treasure, we are reminded of just how important this place is.

Though, the congregation isn’t the “place” itself. If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that the building itself is not the congregation. The community is far beyond just what meets between our four walls. It’s the people who make the community; who dig in, help out, show up, and participate in all of those many ways. Our congregation doesn’t just run on people. We are people. And engagement is at the core of what we do but also who we hope to be for our wider community and world.

To revisit a message I shared with you last year, we often think of congregations as primarily volunteer-led and run. In an article by Rev. Erin Wathen, a Minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), she discusses how the term “volunteer” doesn’t apply to a congregation. Volunteering is what you do at organizations or places you don’t feel belong to you. You might volunteer at a soup kitchen or by chaperoning for a school field trip. But volunteering lacks that sense of shared ownership over the outcome. Instead, we offer a ministry of service. To truly and authentically serve is beyond volunteering. It’s what you do in a place that belongs to you; when you are a part of a community you call your own.

As we embark on another Annual Budget Drive, I hope you’ll see this call to connection beyond just that of finances. We understand that times are hard, that there are so many ways to support the ministry of our congregation. We also know that there exists an abundance all around us. Our ministry flows forth from this place of abundance and care. When our cups overflow, we are often surprised with the joy and the wealth of engagement that follows. We’ve even seen this recently with the beyond successful Fall Party and Auction we held in November; how our gathering has now raised over $11,000 in support of UUCGT! Great things happen when we live and move in this place of abundance.

This year’s Budget Drive theme is “Rising With Abundance: Pledging Our Hearts”. May we each feel our service beyond the distance that comes with “volunteering”. May we witness the power and potential of abundance across our shared community. And may we also open ourselves to answering that call of what’s still possible: the question of “To what might I pledge my heart?”.

UUCGT is a community that means so much to us. Let our cups overflow. Let us rise to the challenge and outdo any goal we think is beyond us. I know we can do it.

From your Minister, with deep faith and love,
Reverend Alex Jensen