Words from our Chair and our new Minister…

WORDS FROM OUR CHAIR — KATIE KINGERY-PAGE

Dear Fellow UUs and Friends,

There is much to be somber about this summer, particularly the recent, racially and religiously motivated violence in our nation. The UU message of love is needed now more than ever.

I spent the past week at UU Mid-America Region’s Midwest Leadership School. Board Secretary Jessica Sievers, and Board Member-at-Large Mark Clarke, attended the school, also. We are grateful to this Fellowship whose generosity sponsored our tuition to the school. I entered the school with a question in my heart: What is UUFM’s role in growing the Unitarian Universalist movement for social justice? In our own institutional history, an early member described this mission as “deeds, not creeds.”

Mark, Jessica, and I spent the week at leadership school in community with 50 other people. Never before have I felt so strongly that the time is here for the UU movement. Leadership school is structured in three parts:

  • UU ROOTS AND THEOLOGY–an overview;
  • ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND LEADERSHIP–which includes principles of right relations and effective decision making processes; and
  • WORSHIP–this is interpreted broadly, just as in our Fellowship.

I left the school with two new questions: What tools do we need in order to stretch as a community to embrace more people, who may or may not be like us, sticking with it, even in uncomfortable moments? And, how can we be an even more joyful community, feeding our stamina as we turn love into action? The answers will come from each of you, as we move forward with our new minister.

Our new minister, Rev Jonalu Johnstone, arrives in Manhattan this month. There are many opportunities to meet Rev Johnstone. Share the joy of her first service and sermon on Sunday, August 23, followed immediately by a potluck dessert and coffee reception. Please bring a dessert or pastry to share, as you are able. The very next weekend, come to our annual Welcome Back Potluck Picnic (August 29), followed by Angie Lynch’s Sunday program (August 30), which Rev Johnstone will convene.

Each of us has a role in creating this beloved community. There is more to look forward to in September: a whole congregation start-up workshop for all of us with Rev Johnstone. The workshop, facilitated by a staff member from the Mid-America Region, is a typical part of welcoming a new minister. The workshop will be held immediately after the Sunday Service on September 13.

I return to you full of energy to live out our vision to be a safe haven, a bold model of love, and a visible beacon of hope. I look forward to listening to your thoughts on how we can live the UUFM vision.

Love will guide us,

Katie

Talk to UUFM Board Chair Katie Kingery-Page after Sunday services, or contact Katie at 341-5650 or kingerypage@gmail.com with your inspirations and concerns, or chat with any Board member.

A NOTE FROM REV JONALU JOHNSTONE

Dear friends … and soon-to-be friends,

Transitions are never easy. I am still in the midst of saying good-bye in Oklahoma City and sorting through and packing in preparation for moving. At the same time, I am getting excited about joining you very soon. The goals that you have laid out as a congregation resonate with me deeply. My focus will be on establishing a collaborative relationship where we can become the community that we long to be. I look forward to meeting you this month. Once I am here, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I want to meet with and get to know as many members and friends as possible. I want to know what the Fellowship means to you, how you have been involved and the future you envision. I can’t wait for our adventure together to begin!

Jonalu

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