• Co-Ministers’ Colloquy – February 20th.

    Dear ones,

    In the wake of the sorrow, anger, frustration, and so on, in response to the senseless tragedy in Florida, you may be in need of action, or pastoral care, or hiding under the covers, or sense a need to throttle anyone who isn’t making sense. Whatever you may be feeling, notice it, share it with someone you trust, and then breathe into it. If it is pain-send your breath right into the heart of that pain so that it might slowly ease, that you might feel a bit of healing. If it is deep sorrow, breathe deeply and let the tears flow. If it is overwhelm and confusion about how politicians still haven’t done anything to change the practices around safer and saner gun ownership, consider what you might do to bring more compassion, more nuance, more openness to the conversation, then make an appointment with an elected official and discuss your concerns.

    Whatever it is you are experiencing, allow yourself to breathe kindness into the heart of your self. Pray if praying is what you do to ground and steady yourself (or meditate or sing or do yoga or call a friend) and then work like you-know-what to bring about the world you know is possible. Our Unitarian Universalist values are only as powerful as our willingness to live them every day.

    -In faith and with care, Rev. Wendy and Rev. Lynn

  • Co-Ministers’ Colloquy – February 14th

    Dear UUSSers,

    What a meaningful and engaging day Sunday was! Kudos to the Music Team who worked long and hard to prepare, organize, execute, and clean-up from Cupid’s Cabaret!! Many thanks to those who made lunch, dessert, and the auction items. Thanks to those who performed! We were so grateful to be included.

     

    In the coming weeks, we’ll be kicking off this year’s Stewardship Campaign, preparing for the Hudson Mohawk Cluster Worship workshop and worship (Mar. 24 and 25), and organizing the Installation. We hope you will choose to participate in these wonderful opportunities as we more fully engage in the UUSS mission: Connecting in spiritual community, we celebrate life with joy, grow in compassion, and create justice together!

    In faith,

    Rev. Wendy and Rev. Lynn

  • Co-Ministers’ Colloquy – February 6th

    Hello, dear ones~

    It is February. It is beautifully snowy, and icy, and cold. Cupid’s Cabaret is coming up, with opportunities to laugh and enjoy music and desserts together, all in the cause of raising fun(d)s for the congregation. It is National Black History Month. It is the month of Valentines Day, which is a complicated holiday, at best. And, this past Sunday, Rev. Wendy and Kim Kilby joined with UU congregation around the country and continent, and offered a powerful service centering voices of Black Unitarian Universalists. All of this might have some of us feeling a bit tender, a bit defensive, a bit grateful, a bit vulnerable, a bit hopeful, or a bit of a mix. And, so, we invite you to be a bit gentle with yourselves and with one another. Find some way in the next couple of days to be kind. Breathe deeply and speak or write with care. Remember that discomfort and lack of safety are two very different things. Watch birds fly or the snow fall. Know you are enough. Reach out to someone you haven’t seen in a while to say hello. Know we are here.  We love you~  Rev. Lynn and Rev. Wendy

  • Co-Ministers’ Colloquy – January 30th.

    We are so grateful for our time last week with colleagues from all over the country and a few parts of Canada at the UU Ministers Association (UUMA) Institute for Excellence in Ministry in Tampa, FL. The week included shared meals, worship, and each minister signs up for a particular workshop track-Lynn focused on power and relationships and Wendy focused on preaching in a post-truth age. We also both sang in the choir led by Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout. Dr. Rideout is a brilliant musician as well as a very profound human.

    UU Schenectady is a part of the Hudson-Mohawk UU Cluster and for many years there has been a joint cluster worship service in the spring. This year, Glen Thomas will be in town for that weekend. There will be a workshop on Saturday Mar. 24 as well as the joint worship service on Sunday, Mar. 25 at the Doane Stuart School. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend this perhaps once in a lifetime opportunity with an incredibly gifted leader in our Unitarian Universalist faith. More details will be forthcoming. Plan to be there

    for one or both days-you’ll be so glad you did!

     

    In faith,

    Rev. Wendy and Rev. Lynn

  • Greetings, Dear Ones

    As we write, there is news of earthquakes and volcanoes, as well as other types of upheaval locally and abroad. A UU congregation in Indiana had hate banners left on their property this weekend. Be gentle with one another. The more trouble in the world, the more will be asked of us. We are reminded of the reading in the Singing the Living Tradition hymnal by the Rev. Wayne Arnason, one of our co-ministry mentors-

    ‘Take courage friends.

    The way is often hard, the path is never clear,

    and the stakes are very high.

    Take courage.

    For deep down, there is another truth:

    you are not alone.’

    Reach out to one another. Meet struggle with patience. Meet hatred and ignorance with love. Our world just might depend upon it.

    In faith,

    Rev. Wendy and Rev. Lynn

  • Gratitude

    Many thanks to the lay leaders who served on the Hiring Team for our new Director of Lifespan Religious Education! This team worked from November through the end of December, and are so happy to have hired Robin Ahearn. Gratitude to Kamryn Almas, Noah Best, Glen D’Arcy, Allison Lee, and Trish Williams, for your energy, perspectives,great questions, and clarity!

    – Rev. Lynn & Rev. Wendy

  • Co-Ministers’ Colloquy – January 10th

    We write this note as snow swirls and dances outside the window of the Ministers Study. It is so beautiful to watch-so many shapes and sizes, each snowflake unique in design. As we approach the anniversary of the birth of Dr. King, we lament how far away our nation has gotten from King’s dream and in turn, strengthen our commitment to do all we can to become more aware of and more practiced at disrupting and dismantling the acts of racism and bigotry in ourselves, in the congregation, and in our world.

    Having a Black Lives Matter banner is important but it is not nearly enough unless we are also transforming the behaviors embedded in the culture of whiteness and the stranglehold of white supremacy culture that have impacted all of us. And the best way we know how to do this is to love, Love, LOVE and to stay focused on our UU values. This week and weekend, UUSS will be fully leaning into our mission-gathering in spiritual community (worship), celebrate with joy (game night), grow in compassion (winter’s hike, meetings, classes, caring) and create justice (transforming the message of Sunday’s service into action!)

    We hope to see you this week!

    In faith and in service to Love, Rev. Wendy and Rev. Lynn

  • Co-Ministers’ Colloquy – January 2nd, 2018

    Happy Gregorian New Year!
    May we each find resolve as 2018 begins to make the coming year better than the last. May you know, deep in your bones, that you are connected to all of life and to this precious Earth. May you feel held by a Love that is deep and wide, and may you add to that Love in every way you can. We are here with you as days ahead unfold. In faith  ~ Rev. Lynn and Rev. Wendy

  • Co-Ministers’ Colloquy – December 19th
    Hello, dear UUSS community~

    One of the things that drew us to this congregation was a strong Religious Education program for children and youth. We appreciate the opportunities to be part of this program during monthly multi-generational worship services, leading Children’s Chapels, and working with the Teams that support these programs.We also occasionally get to share time with different classes, and this past Sunday we facilitated a conversation on worship with the Coming of Age class, just after the service.

    This group of about fifteen 8th-9th graders and the adult facilitators devote a year to focus on who they are, what they believe, how they are part of a community, congregation, and faith tradition, and who they are becoming. We had a lively and rich conversation on elements and flow of worship, what they notice, what they find meaningful, and, for those who have been part of UUSS for a while, what they remember about worship from when they were younger. We heard how this congregation and worship matter to those who are growing up here.

    As Hanukkah concludes and we move toward Solstice, Christmas, and New Year’s, we hope that you will take part in services when you can, as the congregation changes with each person present, and that you experience something that is meaningful and offers inspiration or comfort for the days and weeks ahead. We hope to see you on Christmas Eve. For those who will be away, we hope your travels are safe, and that all have meaningful holiday gatherings. Many blessings~ Rev. Lynn & Rev. Wendy

  • Co-Ministers’ Colloquy – December 12th
    December greetings!

    What a joy it was to be here on Sunday! There was energy in the air as choirs rehearsed, children and youth religious education classes prepared for worship, and folks were setting up for the afternoon’s festivities. There was a wonderful service, full of energy, sharing of holiday traditions, singing, drumming, and jumping/rolling/dancing over the yule logs, and then, a fantastic time of holiday celebration! This year, the Annual Focus of Ministry is to “build and strengthen our spiritual community.” There were multigenerational connections over the craft and gift-wrapping tables, laughter around the photo booth, conversations in the Emerson Room, angels preparing and cleaning up in the kitchen, joyous singing by the piano, and continued log-jumping in the Great Hall. Thanks to all those who organized and participated in worship, Homemade Holidays and the Holiday Party, who brought the Annual Focus of Ministry to life!

    Hoping that folks are staying safe and warm as the weather gets colder and it becomes a bit more challenging to travel. Would you like to get to worship and other activities at UUSS and could use a ride, or would you be willing to share a ride with someone who lives near you? Please contact Carol Neff of the Caring Team at caroljn@nycap.rr.com. This would be such a gift to this community. With gratitude for the many ways that community is created and shared

    ~ Rev. Lynn & Rev. Wendy