Great Expectations and New Beginnings

Sep 23, 2022 | Beacon, News


Our first month together has been filled with opportunities to connect and to get to know each other. I am so grateful for all the kindness my mother and I have received from this community. I also appreciate being part of a team with a great Staff and a Board committed to support our efforts to live into our mission and vision. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated team collaborating to develop RE programs that are inclusive and rooted in our UU values, meaningful worship services with excellent music and an awesome choir, administrative and technical support, and volunteers who make it possible to offer the kinds of programs and events for times such as these. How wonderful to preach in our beautiful sanctuary and see so many people both in person and via zoom! A very special thanks to everyone who makes Sunday worship happen. I appreciate you! 

It has been a month of intense learning for me. I have been attending regular meetings with the SLT, the Staff, the Board, the Lay Pastoral Ministers, and scheduling meetings with the various Ministry Teams. 

I am looking forward to the UUA Regional Staff leading the Start-Up of our shared ministry on Saturday October 15th. Everyone is welcome! This will be a time for the church leadership and the congregation to review our roles and responsibilities, to receive resources and support, and to articulate our goals.

Here’s an excerpt from a UUA article with some information about the Start-Up:

The search committee has done its job. The new minister [has arrived]. You’re excited, but also a little nervous. You want this new relationship to go well. But how to make that happen?

The most important part of a ministerial start-up is a facilitated retreat, for the congregation to get to know the minister a bit, and vice versa. Ministers need to know the history of the congregation, and congregations need to understand that their experience with former ministers will influence how they interact with a new minister.

During the Start-Up we’ll set priorities and discuss the different aspects of Ministry, who is responsible for what, and how we can collaborate.  I hope you will consider joining us on October 15th. More information about schedules and zoom links will go out soon.

Another exciting opportunity to connect and learn together is the creation of a new book discussion group. The UUA has selected the book Mistakes and Miracles: Congregations on the Road to Multiculturalism by Rev. Nancy Palmer-Jones and Karin Lin as our common read for this church year. Nicole has ordered 20 copies, register here to get your copy. Our first meeting will be on Wednesday, September 28 at 7:00 p.m. Meetings will be in person and via Zoom.

On Sunday, November 13, I will be preaching about Mistakes & Miracles and have invited the authors to join us for the service and a Question & Answer session afterwards. What a great opportunity for us to meet the authors!  I hope you will join us on Wednesday, September 28th for our first meeting. Everyone is welcome! 

Beloveds, let us rejoice in this new beginning and let us unite in bringing our best selves to East Shore, our Beloved Community. 

“In the spirit of community and a sense of purpose in our ministry:
Let us commence the discovery of our strengths, our concerns, our grief and our joy.
Let this journey be one of love, authenticity and reverence.
Let us shape our lives, our work and our days as an expression of that joy,
that love and of our commitment to service and to each other.” 
Laurie Stuart

by Rev. María Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa