President’s Message

Once upon a time, there was a quaint Unitarian Universalist Congregation nestled in a little village on the outskirts of a city and amidst many trees, a small field with a labyrinth, and blooming gardens.

In the sanctuary lived a majestic old jade tree named Ollie. Ollie had witnessed countless Sunday services, concerts, art exhibits, weddings, funerals, and community gatherings, all in front of his majestic and countless branches. He was not just a jade tree in the corner, he was
the silent guardian of the congregation and its shared history and values.

One chilly Sunday morning, as the congregation gathered for their usual service, Ollie noticed something peculiar. A mischievous squirrel had taken up residence in the rafters at the back of the sanctuary, peeking down at the worshippers below with a curious glint in its eye. As the service started, the congregation noticed it, and with their ever open-minded and inclusive attitude, smiled as they welcomed their new furry friend with open arms.

As the service began, the worship associate with their jovial soul and a penchant for puns, couldn’t help but notice the squirrel’s antics, and with a twinkle in their eye, they began weaving tales of unity and interconnectedness, using the squirrel’s unexpected presence as a metaphor for accepting the surprises of life. The timing could not be more perfect. The Sunday presenter was a true artist, and one of the most creative and versatile members of the congregation, and beautifully adapted their presentation to incorporate the unexpected but welcomed guest. The congregation was transformed and chuckled appreciatively, finding humor, appreciation, and wisdom from the surprising turn of events.

But as it reached its crescendo, disaster struck. The mischievous squirrel, perhaps inspired by the presenter’s words, decided to make a grand entrance of its own. With a daring leap, the squirrel jumped from the elevated perch, landing squarely in the center of the pulpit. The congregation gasped in shock and for a moment the world stood still, but their gasps soon turned to chuckles as they watched the squirrel scamper across the podium, seemingly conducting the sermon with its playful antics.

In that moment, amidst the shock and confusion, the congregation experienced a deep sense of connection. Together, rather than reject, they chose to accept and embrace the beauty of life in all its
unpredicted forms. During the coffee hour after the service, the squirrel was a topic of conversation throughout the room. And that morning, as they left the fellowship, their spirits were uplifted from the shared experience. They couldn’t help but feel grateful for the moments of unexpected drama, the laughter, and the love it generated.

And Ollie, their strong, old, beloved jade tree witnessed it all in his silent presence.
–Markly Wilson