It is hard to believe it: I am already beginning my second and
final year as your Interim Minister. At the same time, I can hardly
believe it has been only a year. I have gotten to know so many of
you, and so much has been happening!
This fall we will be a part of the exciting venture of preparing
for AUUC’s future, so that ministers searching this winter for a
new congregation to serve will be excited to see what you are up
to! Your work this fall will include all our ministries (some of you call them “committees”)
looking at how to be inclusive, safe, and setting goals for growth. In September we’ll be
enjoying a leadership retreat, teacher training and religious education startup,
and a cookout. In October, our annual Auction will give us a chance to invite friends and
neighbors to a fun evening, plus a chance to raise funds for our future. And in November,
the UUA is helping you with a day-long “Beyond Categorical Thinking” worship and
workshop, in preparation for the ministerial search. AUUC is on the road to living out its
mission, honoring its legacy of the dreams of its founders, and being strong to prepare
for new members and wider impact in the community. It is a good time to be together!
— Rev. Linda
It is hard to believe it: I am already beginning my second and
Happy New Year to one and all! 2017 was an eventful year, bringing so many experiences and emotions to each of you in your own lives, to Accotink UU Church, and to our world. Now, even before we have had time to absorb it all, the New Year is upon us, and 2018 calls to us.
May this year be one that we approach with intentionality, as Abraham Lincoln said, that we may be “touched by the better angels of our nature.” Our worship themes for the winter are Justice and Love. I will be leading a small group to invite us into deeper consideration of what those qualities mean in our lives and our church. We will also be asked to join in the process discerning Accotink’s covenant, what we promise to one another. And the Transition Team and I will continue to ask people, “What makes you come alive? What do you love?” Think about these things, and let your answers guide your pathway into this New Year!
A Note from Your President and Program Council Chair
As we enter the holiday season we are grateful for the kinship, camaraderie, loving-kindness, and opportunities to serve that we enjoy here at Accotink. We look forward to the Yule, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Solstice celebrations here at our little church in the woods and with family and friends. It’s the season of caring and sharing, giving and receiving. We are very grateful for the wonderful auction and everyone’s participation.
Our thanks to Kumutha Lane and Ken Heller for heading up the committee and to everyone on that committee for their contribution to making the afternoon so entertaining. This certainly put the “fun’ into fundraising. The auction has brought in around $20,000, giving our operating funds financial security. Thank you all for being there and for your generosity.
We look forward to continuing our process for improving the physical appearance of our building and its surrounding areas. The Memorial Garden is certainly one of the big enhancements, but in a 20-year old facility there are always needs for maintenance and upgrades. We are now focusing on replacing the windows in the sanctuary and the church office and enclosing the lawn mower storage area. These enhancements and improvements are above and beyond our operating funds but can be accomplished with a little help from you, our Accotink members and friends.
Please include a special holiday gift to Accotink as you develop your gift list (and this might be the last year that such donations are tax-deductible). Dick Robison is heading up a campaign to collect funds (around $16,000) to complete these two projects.
We both wish you and your extended families a healthy and happy holiday. We look forward to the New Year and new adventures. We thank you for your spirit, your involvement, and your presence in our unique faith community. Without you all, AUUC would simply be a church in the woods.
Connie Diamant, Congregational President
Judy Usherson, Program Council Chair
Rev. Dr. Linda Olson Peebles
The month of December is intense for many of us: a mixture of emotions and memories, and usually an over-full calendar of parties and celebrations, and extra rehearsing and shopping preparing for the Holidays. I encourage everyone to keep breathing deeply, and to take time to look for little things, signs of hope, moments of peace, glimmers of love.
I hope to see many of you at our worship services this month, and the December 2 “Ease into the Season” get-together. Good ways to center and find inspiration.
And this month will also offer us chances to live out the ideals of the season – “peace on earth, goodwill to all.” See below for descriptions of showing solidarity with children (Dec. 3 Outreach for Beacon House and Dec. 10 meal-packing for hungry children); with people who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender (Dec 5 witness at the Supreme Court); with victims of gun violence (Dec. 14 witness at the NRA headquarters).
While this month is filled with messages which may not ring true to you – “be of good cheer!” and “buy, buy, buy!” – may you find your own pathway to acknowledging the darkness, finding hope in little things, and reaching out to others. Then may the peace of winter solstice enter your hearts.
There’s a good reason why we start our church year in September. Fall is a time of transition and reflection—a time to take stock, assess progress on our path, and plan for the future.
By the time you read this, your AUUC Board of Directors, Program Council members, and staff will have met in a half-day retreat on Saturday, August 29, to develop enhanced communication channels and brainstorm ways to energize our collective experience as a spiritual community beyond belief.
We have several major events to look forward to this fall: Ingathering on September 13; the NOVA UU Music, Faith and Fun Fest on Saturday, October 3 here at AUUC; and our ever-popular Auction on November 21, to name a few of the “biggies.” Please mark your calendars now, and please do read the weekly emails, this monthly newsletter, and check our website for many other fabulous, fun, and rewarding events and activities—we have a lot going on!
None of these events and activities would be possible without the support of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers. We are so grateful to the many folks who make all of this happen. If you haven’t already signed up to help with something, please do – it’s so rewarding and fun to collaborate with other members of our vibrant and loving community.
And please do share your ideas, concerns, and suggestions. We’re all in this together.