February 13, 2019

Dear CVUU Members and Friends,

So many exciting things happening here, all signs of growth.  This Sunday we will have a joining ceremony for 13 new members (at last count; this number may go up by Sunday!).  We have an artists’s reception followed by a coffee house this Friday evening, and more cool stuff in the weeks ahead.  Two important dates to save: Sunday, March 10, Covenant Sunday with Rev. Dr. Hope Johnson from 1 to 4. The second is Sunday, April 28th, our building dedication – a time when we will open our doors to the larger UU world and to our community partners.  What a day it will be! We need help with many tasks for that day: parking, set up and clean up, welcoming people and helping them get to where they need to be. Look for more information soon.

Thank you, dear ones, for your warm welcome to our friends from Mississippi this past Sunday.  Rev. Gail Stratton and singer/activist Effie Burt were so impressed with all of you and could feel you really with them as they shared the story of the work they have been doing in Mississippi.  What might this spark in us as we approach the milestone of 400 years since the first Africans were brought to Virginia, kidnapped and pressed into servitude?  I hope, for example, that we will join in the work that is happening around this year’s Juneteenth; I’m grateful to Sherri Bailey for keeping us informed of ways to be involved.

One of the main tasks of the interim time in the life of a congregation is to review and engage with the congregation’s history.  I imagine you all have completed many timelines over the last several years, and there is great value in those visual representations of a community’s history.  Another important way to engage our history is to share stories. We saw a glimpse of the power of that in our year-in-review worship service in December; two of our lay leaders shared their insights about the year, and then others of you began sharing your stories, and I thought, “We are onto something here!”  Over the coming weeks and months, I will be working with some folks to find a simple and powerful way to capture your stories; think, some hybrid of Story Corps and The Moth Radio Hour.  I’d love to weave some of this into the events of our building dedication on April 28th, so get ready to share some stories!  You all have done something powerful and rare; you have made big, complicated decisions (and a million small decisions, no doubt) and then carried them out.  Do you have any idea how many churches there are out there saying that they know they should move but just can’t?! And beyond the physical move, you are growing, welcoming new people of all ages and a variety of backgrounds and figuring out how to “scooch over and make room” for these new members of this community.  All of this is astounding and worthy of note, a new story to share. I cannot wait to hear what you have to say.

In faith and fellowship,


Rev. Justine Sullivan
Interim Minister, CVUU
T 757-627-5371
C 508-662-0279
[email protected]