We had spectacular September weather for our Homecoming Sunday, and a wonderful, positive, sunny human climate – there was a great energy and sense of enthusiasm as we gathered on the front lawn, welcomed everyone, introduced our staff and distributed symbols of our religious heritage, then processed together into the sanctuary, nearly 400 strong!
The service was rich and full. What a great beginning to a new church year!
Last Sunday we celebrated the Jewish High Holy Days with special music, and an explanation of the meanings of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur from our Community Minister, the Reverend Debra Haffner, who spoke to our children, sharing her personal experience as a child growing up in a Jewish family.
The sermon spoke to the spiritual meanings of the High Holy days, from a Unitarian point of view.
This coming Sunday is our annual meeting, following the second service. Like every religious group we have been hit by the hard economic times and have to face difficult budget decisions.
The service on the following Sunday, October 4, will include a brief-but-important ceremony to recognize and commission our Small Group Ministry facilitators – they have an important mission: to help participants make deeper, lasting, meaningful connections with one another. Our commissioning ceremony gives us an opportunity to explain this vital program and invite others to get involved in one of the groups or to start another.
On October 11 we will welcome ten Partner Church friends from Alsoboldogfalva, Transylvania. Our partner church committee has been hoping to bring a delegation from the village to Westport for some time. A couple of weeks ago, in preparation for their visit, Jo Shute and Alan Wieman went to Alsoboldogfalva and were warmly greeted by my good friend and colleague, Rev. Biro Mihaly, who thanked Jo and Alan and said, in part:
“I want to say a heartfelt thank you to Jo and Alan and thank you to our partner congregation in Westport on behalf of the ten people from our congregation who will be visiting – they are very grateful…we are all very grateful for this wonderful opportunity.”
Our guests will be introduced at the October 11 service, and there will be several opportunities to meet them during their visit, from October 9 to the 19th.
Let me close with a personal note of appreciation for the warm support that has been extended to me following my hip surgery—it means a great deal to me. The new titanium and ceramic hip is working fine. After two months most of the discomfort is gone – I’ve been walking Compo without the cane, and notice improvement every day. Complete recovery is just around the corner; it feels good to be back in the saddle. I hope you are well, and I look forward to seeing you again soon.