“I have never experienced a service so full of palpable love.”
She was a guest, there for a memorial service—one of several such services UUCC has hosted in the past couple months—and her comments to me afterward have been living in my heart ever since.
It had been a powerful, moving, love-filled service. It’s something we do well as a congregation, and I’m consistently honored to serve in those moments—not only to celebrate a beautiful life, but also to share Unitarian Universalism as it is uniquely expressed in times of death and grief.
In this year’s UUA General Assembly Sunday worship service—led by Rev. Gretchen Haley and others—one of the ministers spoke of doing the work of church, of congregational life, of community-building, so that it’s there for the moments that we privately hope never come, even though we know they’re a part of real life. It’s there for the times of loss and mourning and tragedy and spiritual crisis—a community of loving, caring people to which we can turn and know they’ll be there, arms open wide, to offer food and comfort and companionship. Palpable love.
I witness this tangible care among you, UUCC, in all the ways you are community for each other—for the members of your Reflection Groups, the congregants who serve with you on committees, those who organize for justice by your side, your breakfast groups and gardening teams and affinity groups and auction event co-hosts and crafting buddies. You nurture your communities within the larger community of UUCC. And when you’re needed, you show up.
We do the work of church so that we’re ready when needed. As part of this commitment to cultivating a caring community, we have invited Rev. Lyn Cox to conduct a Caregiving Workshop for UUCC on Saturday, September 17—it’s open to the entire congregation, and I hope you’ll mark the date and plan to attend!
May we—whether guest or long-timer—always know UUCC as a community of palpable love.