On the Path

June, 2024

by Rev. Bill Gupton

As summer begins and another church year ends, I have been reflecting on hope – a primary and some would say primal human emotion, one that I believe is and always has been crucial to our evolution as a species, and thus, to our survival. One recent Sunday morning, I offered some thoughts on our 197-year history as a congregation – originally as the First Universalist Society of Cincinnati, then as First Universalist Church, then as Salem Acres Community Church, and now as Heritage Universalist Unitarian Church. Love, of course – as made manifest through our Universalist tradition – has been a constant thread weaving together all that this congregation has done, over two centuries, connecting and bridging generations, ups and downs, golden years and rocky times. But I also believe hope has been a powerful force throughout our history, keeping us moving forward in those inevitable times of challenge.

I am very hopeful for this beloved congregation that I have been blessed to serve now for 22 years “and counting.” And this month, I want to share with you a few of my “hopes,” some of them more immediate and mundane, others looking a little further into the future.

I hope that as many of you as possible will be able to come to our 197th Annual Meeting (who can resist it when I put it that way?!) on Sunday, June 2, beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the sanctuary. You can come in person or on Zoom. We will elect Board members who will serve us through our 200th anniversary, adopt our operating budget for 2024-25, get updates on important congregational information and activities, and honor those who have served us well.

I hope that you will find the time to thank someone in the congregation who has made something possible that otherwise might not have been. Let us recognize all the volunteer and staff effort that goes into making Heritage the very special community that it is.

I hope that you will give a hug to someone in the congregation who needs it. Or maybe you need it. There are folks who are moving away this summer; give them a proper, loving, HUUC sendoff. There are also departures we won’t know about ahead of time, that will be sudden and unexpected. It is always a good idea to hug someone and tell them how much they mean to you. Spread the love.

I hope you will follow what’s going on in the Unitarian Universalist Association and at our UUA General Assembly this month. While the changes that are happening perhaps will not affect us directly (and least not immediately), it behooves all of us to be educated and aware. I will reflect on these things during the service on Sunday, June 23. I hope you will be there that morning – and will also stay after to watch the live-streamed UUA service together.

I hope you will have time, find time, make time to rest and refresh this summer. There will be a lot going on this fall. To quote Dickens, I suspect the last part of the year 2024 could be “the best of times and the worst of times.” So take a break, take a few deep breaths, and give yourself the gift of whatever it is that feeds your spirit and heals your heart: the beach, the mountains, a swim in a lake or a pool, a long afternoon nap, a tasty slice of apple pie.

Be well, my friends. Walk gently and, as Peter Mayer sings, “with a reverent air.” Happy summer!