As I write this, I’m all about Christmas, which is less than a week away. But soon enough, January will be upon us, and there’s a lot to look forward to then, too. We’ll have that post-holiday time to relax a bit, take time to catch up with our lives, start to live into our new year resolutions – or not. Our monthly theme, which will inflect all our worship in January, will be Grace, an idea and experience I always look forward to exploring. And there are some exciting developments at church, including the start of our new Ministerial Intern for Pastoral Care, Kevin Carson, who will be with us from January to June of 2019.

Kevin is a past member and lay leader at First Unitarian, who has taken recent years to prepare for a career in UU ministry. Ready to find his own church next fall, he’ll be spending the second part of this church year with us, working 20 hours a week, offering pastoral care and helping us to relaunch a lay ministry program, and coordinating our parish care program that supports members and friends in need of (usually short-term) help with rides, food, and so forth, especially after an illness or injury. Because this is in fulfillment of a pastoral care requirement for ministry training, we’re benefiting from Kevin’s time free of charge. It’s a great opportunity for us to get some much-needed assistance, while offering a necessary experience to someone who has a lot to offer Unitarian Universalist ministry. Please welcome Kevin when you see him, and feel very free to be in touch with him for pastoral support. Kevin’s schedule, office hours, and more information will be available when he starts in January.

In the meantime, it’s getting pretty cold out. I know we all want to bundle up and stay warm, and I hope we can all be cozy this holiday, and do what we can to help others stay warm and safe, too. But in the midst of the rush, the holiday pace, the cold that makes us hunch our shoulders and turn our backs to the wind, let’s also find time to look up at the winter night sky – so dark as it is, the stars so brilliant as they are in the cold, crisp air. Let’s take time to look at the dark lace of tree branches against a daytime sky, at the birds who stay among us in winter, bright blue or red, all the brighter against the withdrawn world they enliven with their darting, lovely forms. Remember to look up close at snowflakes when they fall and see their crystalline intricacy. Listen to the geese on the wing as they call to each other on their long journey. Life is different in winter, but not gone, and the beauty of nature is also different, but not gone, present in all these visions, and of course in fresh-fallen snow and icy lakes. Make sure you let the beauty in – all of it is precious, and there for us, when we look.

See you in church,

Rev. Liz Lerner Maclay, Minister
Office Hours: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday