Community: Above Board
Community. We speak of it every Sunday when we dedicate our offering. It runs through our UU Principles, our UUCA Ends Statement, and our Congregational Covenant. Community is a bedrock of our practice, work and experience as Unitarian Universalists and as members of this congregation. In a group that values the individual search for meaning, this sense of community is critical.
I have thought about my experience of community at UUCA often this fall. It’s been a busy few months. Children’s RE—something near and dear to my heart—is back in full swing, with new children, families and teachers for me to meet.
After a summer of unpredictable schedules, I’ve recommitted to regular Sunday attendance. Small group ministry and committee work call, not to mention my new responsibilities as a Board member. Time is tight, and sometimes it’s tempting to dash out right after the service without enjoying that cup of coffee or chatting with friends on the ever-crowded UUCA playground. Usually I stay for the coffee and the conversation. I stay because I really enjoy being a part of this community.
I commit my time and my resources to UUCA because I love this community. But I think it works the other way, too. I believe that I feel more connected to this community because I have made these commitments. Over the years, my attendance at events such as Wonderful Wednesday dinners or adult RE classes, my participation in a chalice circle, my volunteer involvement, have all worked to build and solidify my relationships with others here, my UUCA community. Likewise, my financial commitment has clarified for me the importance of this community in my life.
One of my most meaningful UUCA experiences recently has been serving as a visiting steward. This particular job was well outside my comfort zone, but as a Board member it was a responsibility I needed to assume. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity. As a visiting steward, I discovered many common interests in the wonderful conversations I had with people. I didn’t want the conversations to end. Simply put, I made new friends. As a result, my personal sense of community deepened.
As our December congregational meeting approaches, as opportunities arise for participation in UUCA activities, classes and events, and as conversations occur about ways in which to give of your talents and resources, I encourage you to think about your role in and the rewards you receive from our UUCA community.
Kristen Indermark, UUCA Board of Trustees Member