Greetings of the New Year! We on the Board of Trustees of UUCSW want to wish everyone a year filled with love, well-being, and peace. Though the calendar year just recently turned the page to 2023, the church year is at its midpoint. With total awe, I report that we continue to gain momentum toward returning to the vibrant, active community of pre-Covid days! Hooray for us! Here’s a quick look at what’s going on:
Our RE program has resumed in full swing! OWL and Youth Group are happening, and as of January 22, RE classes for K-8th grades kicked off the new year, meeting back in our home church once again!! We welcome Colleen Munson as our new part-time RE Coordinator, and extend heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers who are offering their time and talents to see these programs come back to life! See the link in this Newsletter and in the Weekly Updates to sign up your children, or volunteer to teach.
Various members have been growing our justice programs. The Racial Justice group is meeting monthly again, and is currently digging into health inequities due to race. The Social Justice crew continues to collect food and clothing donations monthly for the Queen St. Shelter run by SMOC in Worcester. Reproductive Justice folks led 2 services in the fall around the issues of our values, and how we make decisions about taking action around justice issues.
The choir is singing! Come join in! Practice is at 9:30 each Sunday before church. No prior experience necessary.
Speaking of singing, our Caroling and Chili event returned this year, as members blended their voices together to bring holiday cheer to residents of the Willows in Westborough. Prior to heading out to sing, they enjoyed a lunch of pot-luck chili and cornbread. We hope more people can join us next year!
Song is so important to our celebrations, and it was a blessing that we were able to return to our in-person Christmas Eve service, with a hybrid format for those who could not join in person. The candle light circling the church during the singing of Silent Night brought tears to my eyes. It was truly beautiful.
Circles are another thing we do! Circle Suppers are returning this winter! This is a wonderful way to get to know other church members in a relaxed environment while enjoying stimulating conversation and good food. If you missed sign-up for circle suppers this month, don’t worry, they will come round again in the spring.
So you see, UUCSW has been busy, returning to our pre-pandemic activities that create our church community as we know it. As the newest member of the Board of Trustees this year, it has been a real eye-opener to see how things get done, and how many people are involved. It is like observing a bee-hive, with lots of worker bees coming and going! The honey produced is the sweetest reward. It has been an honor and privilege to be part of the formal structure that keeps this hive humming.
This past Sunday, Rev. Laurel led us in a conversation about our 7 Principles, and Article II, coming up for vote in the General Assembly. (Please listen to the recording of it at ChUUrchTalk podcast if you missed it, because Article II is super important). She started off reminding us that our UU tradition is a LIVING tradition, one that evolves with the times and changes as our culture changes. Over the course of this year, I have observed with certainty, that we are indeed a living, breathing community, that evolves and changes, contracts and expands, to meet the needs of all of our members. This year, without a doubt, we have worked to expand our activities, after contracting them due to the pandemic. We combine our individual strengths and talents, and together, we live our UU principles, creating our own UUCSW living tradition.
The church year is only at its midpoint. We have achieved much, and there is still more to come this spring! We are so glad we are in this together!
Nancy Siegal, UUCSW Board of Trustees