We Are a Caring Community

In my short time serving the people of UUCF, I have been very impressed with the caring I’ve seen between community members. The stories of folks checking in on each other after a crisis and stories of folks just checking in on each other to say hello, have been inspiring to me.

I have had several conversations with the chair of the Caring Cooperative and we have talked about ideas to facilitate even deeper connections. I’m excited to see where these ideas take us!

As the UUCF community continues to evolve, change, and grow, it’s important that everyone knows that they can receive support from each other. Sometimes it’s hard to ask for help, after all we are part of a larger culture that is very individualistic. It is hard to remember that although we are part of the larger culture, in our community, we can and should reach out to each other in times of need.

Another way we show our caring is how we talk to each other. Being in ongoing relationship, being in conscious community, requires attention to the words we use and how we interact. Many years ago I learned a mantra that helps me get clarity when I’m frustrated. The mantra is: “Are you here for the fight or the faith?” This mantra helps the speaker/listener ask themselves a few key questions: 1) Am I making this issue about my own project or am I supporting the mission of the congregation? 2) Is there a kinder way I could ask this question? 3) Who needs to be included in this conversation? 4) What is the bigger picture in this situation? 5) Is this an emergency requiring immediate attention or is this something we can step back and evaluate through the lens of our mission?

Truly living what we believe requires self-awareness, patience, and the ability to hold onto our ideas lightly. We must be willing to be open to what we do not yet know and be willing to change our minds when presented with new information. Caring for each other needs thoughtfulness for the long term.

I am grateful that UUCF continuously strives to be ever more caring. May we always see the inherent worth and dignity in each other.