Dear UUCPA folks,
It’s really great to see the return to community by the numbers. Looking at our Sunday participation, the number of folks going to services, Sunday School, and Forum has risen dramatically between 2022 and 2023. (We compute average weekly attendance for a month, then compare that month to the same month in the previous year.) January 2023: 38% over January 2022. February 2023: 47% over the previous February. March 2023: a whopping 67% over the previous March. And April 2023: 19% over the previous April.
It’s easy to get acclimated to the new normal of staying home, almost forgetting how we used to engage with other people, but clearly we are emerging from our shells and re-connecting. Providing ways for people to do this is an important part of UUCPA’s mission to the wider community, and it has never been more important than in the aftermath of the pandemic.
As you have probably already learned if you’re part of these numbers, you don’t have to be a member of UUCPA to engage in these ways; you don’t have to subscribe to a particular set of beliefs; whatever picture you have in your head of a church-y person, you don’t have to be one. (And if you know someone who is looking for ways to emerge, tell them!: If you have a curious mind, a compassionate heart, a streak of independence, and a desire to make the world better, you’re likely to find your people here.)
Here are the things I’m telling newcomers to check out, and they are just as appealing to oldtimers:
My Spiritual Practice and Its Impact on My Life on Sunday, May 21. Along with 35 (!) other people, I went to the first one last month, and it was so moving and fascinating to hear in-depth about two people’s spiritual lives. This one will feature Ed Haertel and Weijia Cheng, whose spiritual practices I’ve been privileged to learn a lot about already, and I can’t wait to discover more.
Credo/Facio Class for Adults on Sunday, June 4: the grownups’ turn to put their convictions into words, the way the Coming of Agers did in last week’s service.
Circle Suppers–the next one is overflowing (wow, there is going to be quite a party at the Scott-Rosins’!), but there are still chairs around the tables at those that follow.
And if you’re looking for something that continues over a number of months, please fill out the Small Groups form that will be up for the rest of May. Using the information folks have shared, I’ve been able to connect each to the kind of group they’re looking for, and I want to do that for you.
All of this is in addition to the Sunday services, which are going to be really terrific, if I do say so. Restoring our sense of being a valuable part of the interdependent web of the ecosystem (May 21); Flower Sunday (June 4); and the gifts of replacing judgment with curiosity (June 11, my last Sunday before sabbatical). And on May 28, I am going to be the “guest” musician for the first time in my almost 20 years here! What I really love is that time after the service, when we’re all stirred up by the same cluster of ideas and feelings and have a great built-in real-conversation starter as a result. So please make sure you have some time to stay.