Living this UU life

Rev. Karen Madrone, August 18, 2023

This week I’ve been working on my noticing skills, in particular noticing the ways we minister and support each other. The word “minister” is a verb as in, “we minister to each other,” and it is a noun when it is used to describe the spiritual leader of a congregation. For example, I am an ordained UU minister but we all minister to each other. In community we have shared ministry. It’s hard to quantify because there is no specific litmus test, but if we pay attention we can learn to see it in each other.

Here are a few examples of the ministry I’ve seen over the past week.

  • The Executive Board had a thoughtful, caring meeting where they listened to each other well, thought of the overall needs of the UUCF community, and shared important decisions that will impact the health of UUCF long into the future. They noticed difficult subjects but didn’t let individual fears keep them from moving forward. I am very proud of your board!
  • The staff worked together to listen, create, and plan to support the music program and the Religious Education program. Planning and scheduling is really the easy stuff. The hard stuff, the true ministry, is being open to what we don’t know, listening and communicating our hopes and desires, fears and vulnerabilities. We all want long term growth and many times that starts with people being willing to be open and listen.
  • At the Membership Committee meeting this week there was a great dialogue about meeting the needs of the community and creating opportunities for people to connect in a variety of ways. Each of these logistics issues are important so that no one is left out but most importantly, this committee works to ensure everyone feels included and welcome. This is a huge way we live into our ministry together.
  • On Thursday I had the opportunity to officiate a “vows only” wedding of a member and their partner. We needed two witnesses so two people from the Daytimers group were their witnesses during the vows and then signed the license. It was a very moving moment! The witnesses shared with the newly married couple of their own vows to their spouses and how much they support this couple.
  • And finally, today I had Community Office Hours at Anastasia and Katie’s, a coffee shop in Livonia. This coffee shop supports people with developmental disabilities. It was recommended to me by a member who lives in Livonia. Several folks came in and out of the conversation over the two hours I was there. We all enjoyed each other’s company and got to know each other better. Through conversation we each connected and built new memories together.

And these are just the events that I witnessed! Imagine each of us paying attention, truly noticing each moment of ministry we share with each other on a regular basis. UUCF is a truly caring community. We live our belief in oneness and universal love in every interaction.