Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog

An Outsider’s Perspective: All the Ways that We Grow

February Newsletter Column

An Outsider’s Perspective:
All the Ways that We Grow

By the Family Minister

I was hired as a consulting minister in 2008 by the Board of Trustees.  This is such a busy place and I’m so busy that I’ve been immersed in the work and have not taken time out for the reflective and advisory tasks of my “consulting role.”  I plan to do that in coming newsletter columns, weblog postings and email messages.
For now let me say just a few words about what I see here.  The theme of the 2009-10 Stewardship Campaign is All the Ways the We Grow.  From my perspective as a relative outsider, everything we offer is an opportunity for growth.

In less than two years I have grown in skills, knowledge, appreciation, and joy.

How have you grown since you’ve been coming here?  In what ways do you seek to grow?

This is a congregation of spiritual depth, social concern, creativity, caring, trust and fun.   It’s a congregation of leadership and vision.  Three Board-appointed task forces have begun to study an implement major goals of our long-range plan.  Changes to the physical look of our campus will make it more welcoming to the many new folks who come seeking connection and insight.  This is a congregation of loving relationships.  I know that primarily through Doug Kraft, whose affection and compassion have been a blessing to this congregation for a decade of ministry.  Working with him has been a source of growth for me.
This is a congregation of joyful involvement.  Over 20 people have registered for the next Newcomers’ Membership Orientation.  Adult Enrichment Classes have range from 8 to 15 people.  Spirit Play classes (for grades 1-5) have had 20-26 in attendance.  We have a cadre of trained and committed adult volunteer teachers for our Sunday morning classes, junior and senior high youth groups, and  Our Whole Lives (OWL), a values-based, comprehensive sexuality education program.   Religious Education volunteers range in age from 20 to 90.

I think we are in view of a new level of ministry across the generations.

Our UURTHSONG community garden and many ministries of Social Responsibility have been a source of delight and meaning for adults, youth and children, and a way for newcomers to participate and make connections.  I am deeply impressed by our many volunteers in music, worship, the office, an the care and upkeep of our buildings and grounds.
Thanks to the creativity and work of Peter, Bob and the other members of our website team, we have an enhanced and easy-to-use UUSS website.
Thanks to the initiative of Doris, our Program Council and several other donors, we now have regular ads in the Sac State Hornet newspaper.  Be on the lookout for visiting students, faculty or staff.  We already have a steady stream of guests to our services, and a lot of interest in what UUSS has to offer.
The most important thing we have to offer is YOU!  Your presence and participation make this a vital, lively and loving place to be.  Your deep generosity will sustain and strengthen this congregation, the ministries that it provides, and the values for which it stands.

Your presence and your generosity make possible all the ways that we grow.
As the Cottage Meetings of our Stewardship Drive take place in February, I extend my thanks to you.  Let’s keep the joy going!

Yours in service,

PS:   I welcome invitations to get together for a pastoral visit with UUSS families.  It’s hard to get to know all the kids on Sunday, except as flashes of light speeding past me.  Also I welcome everyone’s help in organizing activities and special events for all ages.


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