Dear Ones,

February was certainly an interesting month for all of us! Our monthly theme for February was Trust, which feels right as I reflect on the patterns of life at Woodinville Unitarian Universalist Church.

Our interim work together slowed down in February as Snow-pocalypse descended upon us. It disrupted the expected patterns of our lives at church and away from church. It focused our attention in new and different ways on the here and now, on patterns of weather and what we need for physical safety. At WUUC this meant people pitching in in unexpected and different ways, even as we missed worship one Sunday and church events for almost two weeks. Which brings me to our monthly theme in February: As you look back, what were you being asked to trust in new or unexpected ways? Does your answer change if you think about what the invitation of and to trust was at church, at home, and at work?

It also feels appropriate that as we move into March our theme is Journey.

As you know, one of the key pieces of any congregation’s interim work is exploring your history. Looking at who you were and how your congregation responded and continues to respond emotionally and spiritually to historical events helps a congregation understand who you are and where you might be going. This exploration can be a journey if you choose to enter into it in that spirit, which is why I call this your collaborative history odyssey project.

Your history odyssey is the roll of paper stretching across the wall of WUUC’s sanctuary. It includes a timeline of historical events but it’s not simply a timeline. Rather than being about events it’s about your emotional response to the events of your congregation’s life. It’s the story of your congregation.

By showing individual responses, it’s a way of understanding your individual and collective emotional and spiritual responses to your history, as well as helping those who weren’t present begin to understand how events of the past might affect today. It shows those who study it events and times or traits that sparked strong reactions, positive or negative. It shows patterns in your history. And hopefully as you work on it more it will show some of the most important things about who you are as a congregation.

As I discussed in my sermon on February 24, your odyssey already shows amazing highs and deep lows, and some people are perceiving patterns in it. I’ve lifted up a pattern of resilience that I perceive. Several others have shared that reading it feels negative. I’ve observed that many of the things that excite people about WUUC, that you love about your congregation hadn’t made it onto your odyssey yet. And so, as we keep your history up for you to add to over the month of March, can you find creative ways to add the things you love about WUUC to your odyssey, even as you honor your own and others’ griefs? What story will you tell there and how will it affect how you see yourselves and how you create your future?

To engage in the conversation further, I invite you to join me at a conversation with the minister on March 3 at 11:45 a.m. You can also listen to my Feb. 24 sermon: http://wuuc.org/multimedia-archive/whats-a-congregation-for-part-2/. And last, but certainly not least, I’m inviting members and friends to read this handout about covenant at WUUC that Lori McConnell and I have developed with some support from Leslie Schmidt: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1l0jDGkWYxVhP20ouLkYyta1qQcvLXhU605nXlRCmHOE/edit?usp=sharing.

I look forward to journeying with you this month!

Blessed be,

Rev. Diana