We celebrate the many ways that our East Shore community nourishes our spiritual journeys and keeps us connected. Join us as we pledge our love and support to our Beloved Community and plant seeds for the future. Rev. Dr. María Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa will be preaching.
We encourage masks in all buildings. Read more about our In Person Guidelines here.
• To virtually attend, please Zoom in using room number 989 3107 9078, passcode: chalice.
• To phone into the service, call 669-900-6833, Meeting ID: 989 3107 9078.
For those joining, please mute as soon as you enter the room, so everyone can hear. Please note, the services will be recorded, but at this time, there are no plans to share the recording.
Religious Education for children and youth happens during worship on Sundays. Children and youth arrive in the Sanctuary for the just a little bit and welcome in Sunday with a story and song. Then, they attend their own programs in the Education building. Learn more here!
If you don’t have a chalice, but want to light one, check out our Making a Chalice at Home page.
In person services are followed by coffee hour.
“We, bearers of the dream, affirm that a new vision of hope is emerging.
We pledge to work for that community in which justice will be actively present.
We affirm that there is struggle yet ahead.
Yet we know that in the struggle is the hope for the future.
We affirm that we are co-creators of the future, not passive pawns.
And we stand united in affirmation of our hope and vision of a just and inclusive society.
Affirming that hope, publicly expressed, energizes and enables us to move forward.”
-Excerpt from Loretta Williams’ “Been in the Storm So Long”
Some of you might remember that the very first sermon I preached from this pulpit was “Hope Changes Everything” inspired by the book Active Hope and the Pete Seeger song “Sing People Sing”. From them I learned that Hope is something we do rather than have. That it involves being clear about what we hope for and then playing our role in the process of moving in that direction. That when we say yes to creating active hope, together we can discover new strengths, we can become open to a wider network of allies, and experience a deepening of our aliveness. When we join together to create hope, it is an act of healing. Our difficulties become easier to face and our lives become more meaningful, richer.
Our hope might at times become weak or frayed at the seams. But every time we do something, no matter how small, we activate hope. And in the process, we change…everything changes… Experiencing the collective activation of hope, things cannot remain the same.
Before I continue, I’d like to ask you: What are your hopes for our East Shore community? [Unity, Peace, Equity, Joy, Understanding, Inclusion, Diversity, Trans Rights, a habitable planet, listening and reasoning with others, the defeat of our homegrown fascism, Healing, Unconditional Love…]
Today, we are invited to welcome a new church year with active hope and an abundance mentality while we recognize and face the challenges.
Together, we can dare to believe that what we hope for is possible.
Today we are also invited to remember all we have inherited from previous generations. Remember that we often find ourselves “living in houses which we did not build, drinking from wells which we did not dig, and eating from trees which we did not plant.” We are invited to pay it forward generously.
I can testify that I have seen the collective activation of hope right here, in this community, every day. And I can testify that we are generous people. And that Hope grows here!
I am proud to bear witness to all the ways you contribute to the creation of active hope and prosperity of this, our spiritual home. I see you caring for our young ones, guiding them, encouraging their curiosity, helping them to make friends, to feel loved unconditionally. I see you caring for our grounds, planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting in order to give to those who experience food scarcity. I see you visiting the sick, comforting the grieving, listening, and offering compassionate care. I see you offering temporary shelter and meals for the unhoused. I see you singing in the choir, filling this sanctuary with vibrations that bring joy to our hearts. I see you stepping into leadership roles that help us be good financial stewards, committed agents of social justice, and prophetic bearers of good news for those being denied reproductive rights, gender affirming care and resources, or simply being denied the right to exist. We are generous people. Hope grows here!
I see our staff bringing their best selves and always going the extra mile to offer this community the best programs and opportunities to continue learning and growing together. Being a new minister, I rely on their professional skills and ongoing support every day. I see them working behind the scenes to help us reach our goals and create an environment that encourages collaboration, creativity, and authentic connections.
Our Music Director, Eric Lane Barnes, is a composer, writer, lyricist, pianist, director, conductor, performer, teacher, and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. He describes himself as living to explore all the ways music can connect people with themselves, with one another, and the world around them. How lucky are we? Eric and I dream and hope to continue finding ways to support our Mighty Choir. In the meantime, we collaborate to create meaningful Sunday worship services that express our values and lift our spirits.
For Amanda Alice, our DRE, and our families, this congregation’s commitment to continue to nurture the next generation of Unitarian Universalists is our most precious legacy.
This church offers a supportive community where young individuals can express their feelings, build resilience, and cultivate empathy and compassion towards others. This is where our youngsters develop strong emotional foundations that are expressed in their kindness, compassion, and a strong sense of belonging to a justice loving community. The mentors and role models in our community guide our kids, offering advice, wisdom, and a friendly ear. It’s a beautiful journey, and we’re brimming with hope for what lies ahead, knowing the capacity we are building will make an impact among us and beyond us.
I feel grateful and so proud to work with Nicole, our Membership Director, Rebecca, our Finance Officer, Dianne and Celil, who take care of our facilities, Jenny, our Office Administrator (and so much more!), and LeAnne, our RE coordinator.
Some of our hopes include being able to approve fully every request for financial support from our ministry teams, hiring a ministerial intern to strengthen our youth ministry, offering all of our staff fair compensation and benefits as per the new UUA guidelines, redoing the floors in the North room, paying our full share to the UUA, buying a name tag board, and having enough reserves so as not to draw from the endowment, just to name a few.
Every year in October, we ask our members and friends to make a promise of financial support for the coming calendar year. Your pledge supports the Church’s programming, services, ministry, social justice efforts and staff.
Your pledge is not a Membership Fee. It is your promise to provide financial support so that this church is here when it is needed most. When we celebrate, when we grieve, and when we work for justice. East Shore strives to be a Beloved Community which supports us throughout our lives. We recognize that everyone’s circumstances are different and deeply embrace the financial diversity of our congregation. We invite you to pledge generously within your means and we ask those who are able to carry a greater financial commitment to our beloved community.
If this community has nourished you, comforted you, and stood in solidarity with you in times of trouble and injustice, the invitation is to give generously.
We invite you to invest your money, time, and energy in this place, in these people, who are building a better world based on connection, compassion, diversity, and justice.
So Beloveds, when you receive an envelope with an invitation to support our church with your treasure, to pledge and support our fund drive, we hope that you will joyfully accept it knowing that you are participating in building a legacy. Pledge your support so that we can continue to offer the programs and opportunities for spiritual growth that are so needed. Your contribution is vital to make a lasting difference.
May we greet this new church year with abundance and hope.
May we continue to work diligently to make changes that will strengthen this congregation on many different levels. The staff, the Board, the various committees and ministry teams, and the congregation at large.
May we always nurture active hope, esperanza. May it be our guiding light and daily practice.
May we remember that we are generous people and that Hope grows here because of you! Amen. Blessed Be!
Good morning! My name is Lassie Jordan, my pronouns are: she/her.
I’ve been a member of East Shore Unitarian Church since March 2020.
I’ve moved 39 times in my life and lived in a lot of different places. At times, I’ve felt more “at home” in the places I was a “foreigner” than in the places I was supposed to feel “at home”. I attended 3 churches in different countries growing up but none of them ever felt like home. After Mike and I got married, my home was with him, and subsequently, our two children.
Home was the home that we created together and that still feels like my definition of home.
After Mike died, 12 years ago, I was deeply grieving and trying to figure out if it was even possible to create a home by myself. Then came
some major health challenges and some major remodeling and I discovered something as I stood alone, in my perfect house. I had become: “The Curator of the Museum of the Life I Used to Have”. Like a bolt of lightning, I
understood that home, for me, must have other people.
So, 5 years ago, I sold my house, moved to Silver Glen and joined the ESUC choir before I’d ever even been to a service here at Eastshore. When I met the people in the choir and, of course, Eric Lane Barnes, I was drawn in. I’ve always loved to sing. I have found my particularly joyous niche here. It is an honor to sing with these people I love, when we rehearse, and when we sing together, we create something greater than any one of us and that grows when we share it with you.
I realized pretty quickly that I am a Unitarian and have been since my 20’s. After reading the covenant, the chalice lighting, the 7 (now 8) principles and meeting the people here and watching how we treat one another: East
Shore Unitarian Church is the home that we create together.
Home is a place where you’re heard, understood, where you’re free to be everything you are, and where your dreams of who you want to become are honored, encouraged and nourished, a home which is inextricably
intertwined with Hope. EastsShore is the place where I come to be together with other people and create home and hope. How do we do that? By choosing love again and again, in all we do and helping one another do the same.
Home, Hope, and Love are not created in a vacuum. It all takes money. It takes money to keep the lights on and these beautiful spaces warm, safe snd repaired. It takes money to keep our beautiful gardens and grounds lush and
flourishing. It takes money to pay for our amazing hard-working staff and wonderful minister, Rev Maria Cristina. It takes money to support the
programs that help us grow as people and do the service that gives that our covenant form, substance, meaning and makes a difference in the world, all while expanding who we are as people and growing this place, our home.
Covid, the state of our political landscape, the multiplicity of
challenges in countries around the world and the environmental health of our planet, have left many people afraid, hopeless, disconnected, and searching for something in their lives… a place to belong and feel known, a place to
feel love and hope, a place to call home. We are that place for those people. We create a place where no one ever feels like a foreigner, just a new friend we welcome into the home that we will co-create together.
The time has come to look at our personal financial resources in a
generous way. Think Home filled with Love and Hope! Now is the time to trust in ourselves, have faith in each other and move out together as one entity with Hope for our shared future and Love for all those searching
people who will be filling and co-creating our Home.