From Tracey Sutton and me: 

Where do we go from here? 
NIUU Semi-Annual Meeting

The time has come for us to re-envision how we manage all that is NIUU. How we meet, how we organize, and we move forward. Please join us for our semi-annual meeting on June 12th at 10:30am on Zoom or in person at the Harding Center. We will not be having a Sunday Service prior to this meeting as it will require our full attention and participation. The NIUU board requests that you consider the questions: Where do we go from here? What is required of us as a UU congregation? What does it mean to you to be a member of this beloved community? How do we continue to seek truth in love and support for one another? Together we will explore these questions and share our unique perspectives. 


My personal story from Carla Dvoracek’s beautiful service on May 22: 

On Palm Sunday of 1957 I was five years old. I would turn six near the end of that summer. My father had an aching shoulder, so he stayed home from church. I stayed with him, while my mother went on to church. I was alone with my father when he died suddenly of a massive heart attack. 
Needless to say, my life changed tremendously that day. 

In many ways, courage was born in me on that day. I had new circumstances and many changes to deal with. My Kindergarten teacher took me into her home that night. I awoke the next morning to the sound and sight of a bird singing just outside my window. The birdsong brought great hope to me, and I have found that hope and courage go together. 

Many kinds of changes came into my life in those days. Hope and courage strengthened by love were my mainstays. I believed that I could feel my father’s presence near me, and I still believe the same. My faith was strengthened, and I’m sure that the experience contributed greatly to my career choice of ministry. The kind of minister I have sought to be, trying to accept people where and as they are, was also a result of my early introduction to a need for courage. 

A major and unexpected change came about. I spent that summer with my mother’s family in the mountains of North Carolina. To get there, I flew by myself  across the country. It took courage to kiss my mother goodbye and get on that airplane, but with the help of kind flight attendants, the trip wasn’t nearly as scary as it might have been. I was met at the airport in North Carolina by loving family members, and my courage in setting out was well rewarded. I had a wonderful, memorable summer on the family farm, and I came to think of that place as home fully as much as any place I have ever lived. 
The most important theme of courage as I needed and learned it was that courage would always be impossible without the help of others. 


A Few Words from Pastor Fred:  

May 3, 2022 

I’m delighted that our congregation has a great new website. Many thanks to Scott Fitzgerald for his efforts that we trust will long bear fruit for us all. 

As we move toward a new season, it is my hope that our congregation may experience new beginnings in many areas. I believe that our approach to spirituality offers a uniquely meaningful direction for almost anyone. Our willingness to accept each other and make our own choices in matters of faith is ideal for the needs of our time. 

Acceptance of others in the midst of all our differences is an important first step toward a better life for everyone. Our First Principle as Unitarian Universalists is a most important touchstone: “The inherent worth and dignity of every person.” This provides a most important witness to all of us in our time and place. Many of the problems of our time could be resolved if this Principle became a starting place for transforming our relationships.

Regarding our times and events, I have two comments that are important to me: 

Victory to Ukraine! 
and 
Welcome to Gilead. 

Pastor Fred’s previous sermons can be found by clicking on this link: http://spirithand.blogspot.com/