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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: With September’s monthly Soul Matters theme, there are many directions to take when looking at the idea of what it is to “Welcome”: to be inclusive and inviting; to encourage wider engagement and participation in a group or community; to truly make a way for ourselves and others to show up here as fully as possible. As we gear ourselves up for the coming fall and the year ahead, I want to challenge us to show up in fresh ways. Ways that encourage our belonging. Ways that make space and room for our spirits. That call out to our whole selves and carry meaning for our lives.

In a past Sunday service, you heard me reflect on a reading that discussed the reasons why millions of people don’t get involved in congregational life. Many find that their lives are already filled to the brim with obligations and engagements. We mirror our wider society and culture in valuing ourselves with what we can do or contribute. We see congregations as places with demands for our time. We struggle to wonder, with the time we have left, what we could still make the time for.

There is a truism that people will always make time for the things that matter––family, friends, events, and oth-
er important life moments. I’d like to reframe this as people will always make time for the people, places, and
things that they value. The congregation exists because people value it; what we do in our community and the
wider world. We know that ours is a place of refuge amidst the trials of our lives. We know that our community
helps to affirm that there are others out there like us. That we all ultimately need one another. A congregation is such a place to find meaning in our lives and to share in the meaning-making with others.

I’m wondering how many of you struggle to know where to plug in and get further involved. Part of this struggle is not just knowing what time or energy we have available to give. Sometimes, it’s knowing where we fit in. Where our gifts might be greatly useful or valued. Where we might even find ourselves enjoying things more than we initially imagined.

What if we could reclaim the messaging around serving on teams and committees to be messages of abun-
dance? Of wondering what we might give of ourselves to help garner more abundance? What if we could high- light the ways many of us find greater meaning in our lives when we choose to share our lives with others? I think we’d be surprised with the enthusiasm we’d foster if we could reclaim congregational life as one of spiritual nourishment rather than tasks and obligations.

With UUCGT’s Committee and Groups Expo on the horizon––September 10th in the Social Hall following the
Sunday Service––I trust you’ll seize this opportunity to wonder about these questions. I hope you’ll find ways
where your belonging is nurtured and nourished. Where you find joy and excitement in serving this cherished
community. Where you feel comfortable to go beyond the surface and really get “plugged in” to the life that
abides here. Our congregation needs community care first and foremost before it needs just volunteers and
warm bodies on committees!

I hope you find a place for yourself here. A place that calls you toward greater abundance. A place that helps
you share this abundance with others, too.

From your Minister, with deep faith and love,

Reverend Alex Jensen