Clela Reed Reflects on UUFA’s Building a New Way

July marks a new year in the life of our fellowship—and a new theme for our focus. After a year of dancing through the pandemic, relying on each other in steps of cooperation and caring, leaning on one another for support, encouragement, and occasional leaps of joy through the tricky choreography that kept us advancing on the dance floor, we are ready to trade in our dancing shoes for brogans and a tool belt. We will be “Building A New Way” and we have work to do!

We are halfway through our interim period and are beginning the search for a settled minister. Even more important is our search for ourselves, for in Building a New Way, we begin with the obvious, a Strong Foundation, and WE are the foundation. Committees, task forces, small groups, staff members, our search team, our choir, and our board have begun the process of self-examination, visioning, and planning as we seek to find better ways to build and grow—not only within our fellowship but in reaching out to the wider community as we address issues of diversity, economic and social justice, and the environment.  In the coming months, the congregation will be involved through cottage meetings, town halls, and surveys as we determine what’s important to us, the kind of congregation we want to be, and the kind of minister we seek.

Already, cornerstones are in place. Our seven principles give us firm grounding. During this past year, we have revised our bylaws and our personnel manual to reflect our needs and present practices. We have added a memorial wall sculpture to honor our deceased members and leaders. Soon a new sign, visible from Timothy Road, will announce our presence and invite all to join us.

Yes, we have much work to do in building a new way, but I have confidence in the strength of our foundation, in us!