RevDaveJohnson Aug2014aSmGreetings Friends: Winter is fully upon us – a cautionary reminder to move slowly and cautiously: one foot in front of the other. Falls happen quickly; may we give thoughtful attention to all that we do.

This coming Sunday we honor and celebrate People’s Church’s official recognition by the UUA as a Welcoming Congregation. The first 20 minutes of the service will include music, readings, personal statements, and a story for all ages by River Artz-Iffland – all of which acknowledge this turning point in our church’s history, and the ongoing work of building justice and compassion on the road ahead.

My topic this coming Sunday is “Learning Organizations and the Sigmoid Fraud”. That’s not a slip. Every family system and organization struggles with the tension between (1) incentives to evolve in new directions, and (2) regulatory constraints that preserve the organization’s inherited ways of being.   We’ll explore that tension, using as one metaphor the intriguing poem by Robert Graves entitled “Flying Crooked”. The opening lines of Graves’ poem begin:

            “The butterfly, a cabbage-white,
            (His honest idiocy of flight)
            Will never now, it is too late,
            Master the art of flying straight …”

How do healthy organizations engage “the dance of change”?   Margaret Wheatley reminds us that:
“Western cultural views of how best to organize and lead are contrary to what life teaches. Western practices attempt to dominate, rather than working as partners. Leaders use control and imposition rather than self-organizing processes. They react to uncertainty and chaos by tightening already feeble controls, rather than engaging our best capacities in the dance.”   Come join us in the dance.

The Annual Bazaar is just a week away. Opportunities abound for each of us to engage in the final preparations, and on the day of the Bazaar, Saturday, November 22. Join us in this annual tradition of building community – in the broadest sense of the word.

Next week I will continue my three ongoing series in congregational enrichment:
Monday Nov 17, 10:30 am: “Fables for Our Time”. Fable #8, “An American Holly”
Tuesday Nov 18, 7:00 pm: “Introduction to Process / Relational Theology”, session #4:
“Implications of Process Thought for Unitarian Universalism”
Wednesday Nov 19, 12 noon: “I Need More Adroit”, session #3 (Dr. Edwin Friedman)

Reminder: The deadline is next Monday November 17 for submitting articles for the December News and Views. Please send all articles to Chris Schleuder in the church office by no later than 12 noon on November 17th.   Thanks so much for honoring Chris’s deadline for timely preparation and distribution of our monthly newsletter.


All good wishes for the winter ahead – and the eventual re-appearance of spring.


Rev. Dave Johnson, Interim Minister, 2014-2015

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