Dear People’s people,

With the program year underway, there is a flurry of activity around the church. I want to take this space to highlight a few goings on that I am particularly excited about:

The Shared Pulpit: A Sermon Seminar for Laypeople begins this month. This class is a chance to reflect theologically on our lives, explore what a meaningful Sunday service is, and learn skills like writing for oral communication and public speaking. I hope it will be a place of encouragement and the ‘coevolution’ I spoke about in my sermon on September 23. The class will be offered in two identical sessions in an attempt to accommodate as many people’s schedules as possible. Second Mondays from 6pm-9pm beginning October 8 and on Second Tuesdays from 1-4pm beginning October 9. People who complete the class will be invited to preach a sermon during an upcoming service (though that isn’t required.) If you have questions or would like to RSVP, please contact me.

I Promise to Vote. One of our Unitarian Universalist principles includes ‘the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.’ The ISAAC Core Team will be encouraging us all to live into this principle by registering to vote, if we are eligible, and voting this November. We will also be planning to encourage other ISAAC member organizations to encourage voting at the public meeting on October 25.

In addition to these events and activities, there is some work happening in small groups that is inspiring me now.

A small group has taken the ideas shared at our worship mission workshop in August and are starting to turn this into a ‘worship mission statement.’ I remain grateful to all who participated in the workshop and shared about their hopes and dreams for what happens when we are together at 10:45am on Sunday mornings. I hope we will have a draft worship mission ready to share within a few months.
In the meantime, Sunday services leaders, musicians, and I are responding to some of the things named in the workshop. You might have noticed more music in the services so far this fall and more invitations to move our bodies. This was a hope that people voiced in the workshop. Let me know what you think.

Meanwhile, the Widening Our Welcome team is nearing the conclusion of its work—facilitating conversations about the state of the church and bringing forward some possible best next steps. This work has been interesting and surprising to me. The team has been thoughtful and dedicated. They worked throughout my parental leave and the summer pondering ad categorizing everything that you all said at the conversation tables and committee meetings last spring. I’ve looked through it all and been inspired by your care for this church and dreams for its future. We’ll be sharing all of this in a service later this year. In the meantime, please talk to me—or any members of the Widening Our Welcome team (Sandy Steele, Cylise Snow, Chris Semelbauer, Susan Moerdyk, Marj Lightner, Jeanne Leadley, Connie Ferguson, Greg Feldmeier, Sonja Dean, Gordon Bolar, and Andrew Alm) if you have questions about any of this.

See you in church,

Rachel

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