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Never doubt the power of our pamphlets. Karen Eckert’s 1979 jogging route went by the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Arlington, Va. and out of curiosity, dropped in, read our material and realized she was a UU. She quickly became a member of UUCAV.
Our ministry theme for this month of September is Covenant. Covenant used to be a loaded word at Silver Spring. When I first arrived no one was willing to use it. While most UU churches call their small group ministry ‘Covenant Groups’ we called ours Inreach Groups for that reason. One of the early steps recommended was to make a covenant of understanding between the church and myself, but the leadership at UUCSS decided it wasn’t a good idea to do that soon, and so we postponed it for a few years and finally did one jointly between myself and the church and then-DRE Mandy Keithan and the church.
Our monthly ministry theme for the month of September is covenant, and that theme is particularly poignant for me during this time. Many of us, myself included, are grieving over the resignation of associate minister Rev. Dr. Leon Dunkley, and as we come to terms with this transition I see some people turning to our congregational covenant. But what does it mean to covenant with one another, particularly in times when we may be feeling broken? Are our covenants uplifting us or are they silencing honest expression of pain?
A poem by Jellaludin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks
When a family with deaf members started attending UUCSS, Janne Harrelson and several other people asked the question, “How can we provide access for this family?” Janne, whose career was at Gallaudet University, together with other interested members, brought this issue to the Board and applied for a start-up grant through the UUA.