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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:

I have something rather silly to tell you. When I was little, I thought it would be the coolest thing to
live in a snow globe! Yes, an actual snow globe. Though, with getting older and becoming a homeowner, I sus-
pect there’d be a lot more maintenance to it than my younger self imagined, which I’ve learned quite a bit about
since moving to Michigan! I remember I had a small Disney’s “Little Mermaid”-themed snow globe that was my
favorite; four-year-old me would bring it around constantly, always to show people. Something about the spe-
cialness of the “snow” as it danced around Ariel and her fishy friend, Flounder. There’s a way that living in a
snow globe might be a bit like living in a “fishbowl” (pun intended, with the Little Mermaid reference!) where
your small inner world feels always on display from the outside. Even so, I still think about how neat it would be;
the Californian in me will forever be enchanted with––and recovering from––the wonder that is snow!

The word wonder itself comes from an Old English word for a “marvelous thing” (wundor); something that is an object of astonishment. Things that are wonderful fill our hearts to the brim with astonishment and marvel. To wonder about something involves delving deeper until you find the awe that lies underneath the surface.
The world’s wonders themselves are great representations of what this means, in terms of art and architecture, with how they often inspire within us not only majesty and grandeur but also a feeling of smallness and being a part of a larger whole.

Living in a snow globe might really enhance that feeling of smallness; of being a part of a greater scheme in a
world ripe with wonder. Overall, I think part of the reason we still marvel at sweet things like snow globes is that
they remind us to notice the little joys and wonders we can still yet find in our lives, should we only look deeper.
Somehow, there’s always more beneath the surface. Writing this a little after our first big snow, I certainly feel
joy and wonder looking out over Silver Lake, with snow-capped houses and a glossy water surface, almost like a
Kinkade painting.

So, as we enter this season of wonder and joy, I invite you to go underneath the surface. To look for life’s gentle
and simple joys. To find wonder in unexpected and unanticipated places. And, if you’re up to it, humor me and
imagine what it’d be like to live in a snow globe all year round; living in a “snowy” world of wonder every day of
the year. What beauty would abide there?

Wishing you brightness, joy, and wonder this holiday season.

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