Sermon by Shawn Newton

Extreme Swiss Army Knife

From the Pulpit: “Possibilitarianism”

I have a couple of very important things to share with you this week:

The Proposed 8th Principle

Next month, the delegates from UU congregations across the country will meet to decide on whether to add an 8th Principle to our existing seven. The current proposed version reads: To affirm and promote “Individual and communal action that accountably dismantles racism and other oppressions in ourselves and in our institutions.”

The CUC Board is inviting feedback on this proposed motion, including possible revisions to the text, through the end of the day on Sunday, October 17th. You can pass along suggestions, indicate your support, or name any concerns you may have by using this form.

A final version of the proposed wording will be sent to congregations early next month. We will hold a meeting for members of First Unitarian on November 14th to discuss the final motion with the slate of delegates who will represent us at the national gathering.

In-person Sunday Services

I am happy to share with you that we will begin offering an in-person option for our Sunday services starting early next month. As you might imagine, there are a number of logistical challenges involved in holding our services simultaneously online and onsite, as we intend to do going forward. While many are, of course, excited for this next step, we also need to appreciate that, like so much else in the world around us these days, the experience will be different. Those in attendance will need to be fully vaccinated and show their vaccination receipt or QR code when entering the building. We will have limited seating available in the sanctuary, given the provincial requirement that we maintain physical distancing. As well, the congregation will be masked at all times, and worship leaders will only remove their masks when speaking or singing. For the time being, we won’t be holding an onsite coffee hour, share in congregational singing, or enjoy the voices of our choir. We are also still determining what we can offer on Sunday mornings for families, in addition to upcoming online and outdoor activities. While these early in-person experiences will certainly be different, we hope and expect to add back most of these important aspects of Sunday mornings as public health guidelines and staff and volunteer capacity allow.

Next week, we’ll be sharing a quick poll to gauge the comfort level of the congregation for in-person services, as well as more details about the expected date for the return to the building. Stay tuned!

This Sunday

Finally, this Sunday, our service will focus on this month’s theme of Possibility. My sermon, titled “Possibilitarianism,” will speak to the embrace of possibility as a form of spiritual practice. Catherine Kentridge will share a classic and timely tale. And our worship team will provide the other elements of worship that help to anchor us all in these times.

In faith and love,

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