This time of year in my seminary studies is one of final paper and project writing. I am currently working on a research paper focused on Congregation and Local Community Engagement for a Sociology of Religion class. This paper will include an exploration of how we perceive and embody our role in the local neighborhood, town, and county. It is my hope that this report will help us clarify and live into the questions of who we are and what we are called to do in relationship to our neighbors.
Recently these questions have been raised among us in light of the recent theft and vandalizing of roadside banners. I will be conducting interviews with members and friends as part of this project, and I invite you to reach out to me at email@example.com or 845-344-7336 by December 8th if you’d like to participate (over coffee and conversation or by phone). Through knowledge and understanding of our community, I am hopeful that we can move together to embody more fully our values and commitments in the world.
I have also begun work on recovering historical congregational files, stories, and data, with the hope that we might examine and tell UUCRT history with more honest reflection. 2018 will mark 150 years since this congregation was first established as the Unitarian Church of Our Father in Newburgh. Although most of our records were destroyed in the 2006 Rock Tavern fire, I have recently discovered that the UUA has maintained several files. These are now archived at Meadville-Lombard theological school, and will be made available to us digitally in January. If you’d like to help work on this historical research and writing project, please let me know! This work belongs to all of us, and help is appreciated.
I will be away from Sunday morning services in December, but look forward to being with you for the Christmas Eve service.
In peace and joy,
Lay Commissioned Minister