New Joys and Sorrows Plan

We’re Changing Things Up!

During our Sunday morning services, we frequently include a time to share significant personal joys, sorrows, or milestones. We generally consider that sharing such feelings and events in our lives helps build connections between us and helps us care for one another. 

However, we also realize that not everyone comes forward to share; some come forward frequently to share; and some share a little too much information. Also, we hear occasional announcements or partisan political expressions for which this ritual is not really intended. Planning the timing of the whole service is also difficult since we don’t have any idea how many people will come forward on any Sunday.

For many years, we have accepted these challenges, but as the Fellowship has grown and the Joys and Sorrows time becomes longer, the Worship Arts & Celebration Team has reflected and debated on a variety of new approaches. We’ve developed a new procedure similar to what many other UU congregations use. We hope this will meet our community and connection goals, continue to give people a chance to share what’s going on in their lives, and perhaps encourage wider participation.

Here’s the Plan

  1. If you wish to share a joy, sorrow, or milestone, you may pick up a new “Sharing Our Joys, Sorrows, and Milestones” card when you enter the sanctuary. Cards are located at the four Centering Stations around the sanctuary and on the credenza at the back of the sanctuary.
  2. The card will prompt you for basic information including whether you want us to share your joy, sorrow, or milestone on our website so that those not present can learn of it and/or whether you want someone to follow up with you later. The card includes several lines for you to BRIEFLY and LEGIBLY write what you wish.
  3. During the offering (the Sharing Our Gifts time), the cards should be placed in the offering plates along with your financial contribution. The ushers will remove them and give them to that Sunday’s Worship Assistant for reading later in the service, if possible. The writer will be recognized by name and may stand or wave so that others can put a face to the name. All cards will later be given to the Rev. Alison Eskildsen, the Rev. Don Randall, and the Pastoral Care Team.

This is an experiment we’ll try for several months. If it seems to be meeting our needs, we’ll continue it. If not, we’ll consider something different. No one right or wrong way exists to share our lives with the community, but we recognize that some will be unhappy with the change, and we know others will be very happy we’re making this change. Please let members of the Worship Arts & Celebration Team know what you think, but please wait a few weeks before you do. Give the change a chance, please.

Rev. Alison and Worship Arts & Celebration Team