The last part of February came with an extended period of high temperatures in the 60s and sometimes even 70s. While I have profound concerns about climate change and the apparent lack of either political or societal will to address it, I must confess that I have enjoyed opening windows, wearing T-shirts, and even (one of the great pleasures in life) going barefoot. But in February??
Though I am sure there will be a “cold snap” or two in the upcoming weeks, this early spring has also helped to focus my attention forward – toward renewal and rebirth, energy and vitality. It has been an emotionally challenging winter for all of us, and to hear the birds chirp and see the sun (again, in February!) has warmed not only my body, but my spirit.
As I look ahead to spring at Heritage, I see many new and exciting opportunities for folks to engage, to explore new pathways, and to grow in spirit. For starters, don’t miss “March Money Madness” later this month. (The old Monty Python theme “And Now for Something Completely Different” comes to mind…) On Saturday, March 25, stop by church anytime (or stay all day!) to enjoy a community fair including yoga (led by me), storytelling and drama, music, good food, games, tarot card readings and more. Yes, we’ll be collecting your pledge cards in support of our 2017-18 church operating budget that day – but could there be a more fun way to quickly and painlessly support the church you love?
Later in the spring – on Saturday, May 20 – we will again gather as a full community, this time to take a loving, appreciative look at the life of our congregation – where we are now (i.e., larger than at any time since the Eisenhower era!) and where we are going. What do we want Heritage Church to look like, feel like – be – in five years? Ten? Twenty? In their shared ministry leadership discernment process, our Board of Trustees and the Committee on Ministry refer to this important work as “futuring.” In May, we look forward to hearing your thoughts about Heritage’s future.
Speaking of our future, newcomers to our church are the future of Heritage. You can look forward to another newcomer welcoming dinner (aka Get Acquainted Dinner) in the spring. I am also planning a couple of less formal gatherings for those newer to the church, as well as a quick-and-easy UU history session for anyone who is interested.
In early April, Heritage Church and Heritage Acres (our green burial sanctuary project) will sponsor a weekend workshop designed to help folks learn how to care for deceased loved ones and community members – lovingly preparing them for natural burial or cremation. If this aspect of our Heritage End-of-Life Ministry is intriguing to you (I know it takes a special person to be interested in such things, but every community should be so blessed to have them!), please refer to the article about our In-Home Funeral Practices Workshop elsewhere in this Heirloom, or contact me soon. Registration forms are now available.
Our facilitator for this exciting workshop, Caroline Yongue of Asheville, N.C., will be one of two dynamic guest speakers we are honored to welcome to our pulpit this spring. Rev. Sharon Dittmar, formerly the Senior Minister at First Unitarian Church, who now serves as a Congregational Life Consultant for the MidAmerica Region of the UUA, will also join us one Sunday. I’m sure you’ll want to experience worship as led by both these remarkable women.
Here’s to a life-enriching, spirit-enhancing, soulful spring!