REV. GAIL LINDSAY MARRINER
UU Santa Fe Minister
When I was a kid, I remember someone explaining the advent wreath to me this way:
In Scandinavia, where the snows get deep, people routinely took the wheels off the wagons and replaced them with runners to turn their wagons into sleds for the winter. One of the wagon wheels was taken indoors and decorated with candles – voila – the advent wreath. That’s the part I remember – and something about wrapping straw around some other wheel, lighting it on fire and rolling it down a snowy mountain on the longest night, but I digress…
As we all know weather is fickle and the timing of the wheel to runner changeover must have been tricky. There could be a few wheel-less weeks before the snow got deep. Think a moment about what that would mean – you couldn’t go anywhere! You didn’t-have-to-go-anywhere! Like the sun which stands still at the solstice – you could stand still too! What a concept! You could be still and enjoy the place where you were.
We thought we would try it this holiday season. For the month of December we are (metaphorically) taking the wheels off at UU Santa Fe. We are inviting all the committees to forgo their December working meetings – no program council, no board of trustees, no personnel committee, no facilities, no operations team, etc. Instead, in this season where the sun stands still, we invite you pause with us and focus on the deeper things: gratitude and generosity, relationships and meaning .
We have a host of activities and events through New Year’s Eve – a steady stream of opportunities to connect and reflect. We hope you will stay home with us for the holidays, or come home to UU Santa Fe for the holidays, or in some way make yourself at home here for the holidays.
Don’t even try to do all of these things. Pick and choose the UU Santa Fe gatherings that feel like they will feed your soul, weave them together with family celebrations and Santa Fe traditions for a holiday season that is uniquely yours.
I’ll be home at UU Santa Fe for the Holidays – where will you be?
Steven provides Program Ministry services to UU Santa Fe―learning, small group ministry, connecting, and justice-making support.
“Do you have the patience to wait
Around here leadership often asks, "What's Next?"
What happens when there is no answer to this question? No voice? Just silence? You know what? It's OK. The gods will not smite us. It's OK, dare I say this―gasp―to pause. To pause. We need not be in motion all the time, much less be frenetic in our approach to community life here. If you think "to pause" falls in the category of being good to yourself, I think you would be right. It's OK for UU Santa Fe to pause too. To be good to itself.
Susan Beaumont, church consultant, describes an organization that finds itself between an ending and a new beginning—when the old way of doing things no longer works but a way forward is not yet clear—in a liminal season. I would suggest to you all that UU Santa Fe is in such a liminal season. We are waiting for "the right action to arise by itself." Meanwhile, as leadership (with your help), creates the conditions for this right action to manifest itself, you can do something. Be present. Be present. Be present to one another. To unfolding opportunity. Live into your anxiety and as Susan writes, "embrace the freedom of not-knowing."
Meeting Moratorium - December 2019
At the October Board of Trustees meeting, the Board voted to sanction a "meeting moratorium" for the month of December. Consequently, all meetings by Committees and Teams are cancelled for the month of December (obviously mission-critical meetings will take place as necessary). That means no Board of Trustees meeting, no Program Council, no Personnel, Facilities meetings, etc. All Groups continue to meet and gather during December, so worship, learning, all groups―affinity, learning, spirituality, community and support groups―meet as usual. Justice issue teams will meet as the members of those teams elect. We are hitting the "pause button" so that we may all concentrate on the important things in our lives this busy December. To pause. To be present.
So, pause and be present. See you on campus.