A Busy Church

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Rev. Peter ConnollyOurs is a busy church, very busy for a church of our size. In various ways, we continue to serve out our mission to care for one another, to encourage spiritual growth, and to actively work to improve our society and the environment. Here is an update on some of the ways we remain active in seeking to fulfill our mission.

Our Caring Committee is blessed by the dedicated leadership of David Wellman and Roxanne Spencer. We recently have committed to meeting more regularly (monthly, rather than two or three times a year). We are always in need of folks to help out with visiting those who are isolated from others or hospitalized or otherwise incapacitated, with preparing and delivering meals for those who may have short-term needs, and anyone who can help in any way. Please let David or Roxanne or me know if you can help with any of these things, whether or not you have time to actually join the committee.

Spirituality is expressed in many different ways. UUCBG offers two meditation groups, a Zen Gathering, yoga, a creative arts group, and an Earth Circle, as well as religious exploration opportunities for all ages. We also have multigenerational services throughout the year.

Our 9:00 o’clock Sunday morning Contemplative Service has entered its third year. Until services were canceled because of the recent snowstorm, we met for 107 successive Sundays, which is quite remarkable, considering that I was away for four months’ sabbatical in 2015. We continue to study and practice Buddhist teachings on mindfulness as well as other Buddhist concepts such as meditation, the five training precepts, inquiry and observation, the five hindrances, the seven factors of enlightenment, Buddhist psychology, and karma. It is a time of centering, thoughtful discussion and sharing personal experiences. I’m grateful to have that time, myself, on a Sunday morning, and grateful for the faithful attendance of others who find their spiritual growth enhanced in this way.

We’ve been fortunate in this church to continue to have wonderful Sunday services when guests and lay members are speaking. Nancy Garrett shared “The Faces on Money” and introduced the Guest at Your Table program. It was enlightening to learn about the five pillars of Islam in December when Dr. Nagy Morsi, President of the Islamic Center of Bowling Green, made his presentation. Liza Kelly, with help from husband Jeremy and special guests, provided us with a wonderful service of music, song and “opening the doorway to other religions” with her service, “Focus and Connection: Sacred Music and World Religions.”

We’ve once again been celebrating Chalica over the first seven Sundays of the year. I addressed the first principle with my intent to do what I can to see that an interfaith ministerial association be established in Bowling Green. I have met with both Imam Sedin Agic and Rev. Megan Huston of First Christian (Disciples of Christ) Church. Both are enthusiastic about the idea. I have contacted two other ministers in town who have expressed support in the past. I will keep you apprised of developments. Thank you to Sandi Joiner, Jai Burchett, and Kerry Kenady for modeling ways in which we can live out the second, third, and fourth principles.

In terms of “actively working to improve our society,” our Social Justice Action Committee (SJAC) is making a commitment to be present in the larger community at least once a month in 2016. In January, some of us participated in the symbolic march from the courthouse to the State Street Baptist Church; others attended the MLK program there. Still others attended the annual MLK breakfast.

In February, several of us will be going to Frankfort on the 17th for a rally in support of a statewide Fairness ordinance. We’ll be carpooling to Frankfort; if you’d like to join us, please let me know.

In March, church members will be attending and helping to support the Interfaith Dialogue on Earthcare on the 18th and 19th. Registration forms and a schedule of events are posted on our “Community” bulletin board. Registration is free and the program is varied. Attendees are encouraged to bring a dish for a community potluck. A great way to meet like-minded neighbors!

Speaking of “Earthcare,” our Ecological Land Ministry is now housed under Buildings and Grounds, rather than SJAC. Jan Garrett is still the contact person. As the weather warms, more projects will be in the works.

Thank you to all the dedicated members who serve the mission of this church.

Join your energy to ours as we continue to grow into the church that we aspire to be!

Blessings abounding! See you in church.

Peter

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