Although the church building is closed, we are still doing church, continuing to seek to Create Community, Celebrate Life, Change the World. Staff are working from home but are keeping a watchful eye on our building and grounds to ensure that everything will be in good condition for our return. The Board has approved these requirements for use of the church grounds.

Welcome to CrossCurrents!  Your comments are welcome at crosscurrents@uucwc.org

In this issue:

On Gathering Again, by Rev. Kim Wildszewski

Providing For Religious Education In This Time of Uncertainty, by Robin Pugh,

Director of Lifespan Faith Engagement

Embracing A New Church Year, by Maria Baratta, President, UUCWC Board of Trustees

UUCWC Generous To Those In Need–Here’s Where Your Contributions Go, by Holly Bussey,

Faith Expression and Funding Team

Interconnection, Inner-Work and Covenanting, by Michelle Hunt, Right Relations Committee

A Farewell Message From the Friedmans, with love by Jane and Marty Friedman

Capital Campaign Update, by Jayme Trott, Cochair, Capital Campaign Project

Food Ministry Update, by Christine Piatek, Member, Food Ministry

On Gathering Again

Rev. Kim Wildszewski

This is an edited excerpt from Rev. Kim’s July 24th sermon on reopening and regathering.  You can hear the whole sermon here: https://www.uucwc.org/services/small-circles/
For over a century, UUCWC has been building something beautiful, intricate, vibrant and communal.  It has taken the patience and vision of monks creating the gorgeousness of a sand mandala. And, just as often, it has taken the bravery, faithfulness, and trust of monks to let go, to release what was, so that more, new, and different beauty can come to be.
Speaking plainly: For those of us believing that when we open our doors again, we will return to what was, we will not.  We will not return to what was, certainly not all at once and, likely, not at all.
Because “we” is no longer the gathered congregation.  It is now the Gathered Congregation, the Online Congregation, the families who do not yet have access to the building – to sanctuary – like all others, and the “we” is also that Pre-pandemic Congregation who may or may not return. It is also those folks who couldn’t take the virtual journey, who may enter again some familiar place not knowing how we have traveled, changed, or what course we set our sights on because of these sixteen months.
We cannot return to what was because the people in the boat have changed. Our needs and agreements and assumptions have changed.  Heck, it’s not even a boat anymore; the vessel has changed. And the seas are still uncertain.
That sounds ominous, perhaps.  But I want to assure you, it doesn’t to me.  This is, and will continue to be, a time of creativity; a time of creation.  Not one out of nothingness, but out from one hundred and five years of purposeful, generative, heart, human and soul growing ministry.  Read more of Rev. Kim’s sermon excerpt here…

Providing For Religious Education In This Time of Uncertainty

Robin Pugh, Director of Lifespan Faith Engagement

I am thinking of all our families as they navigate the uncertainty of what the school year brings mid-pandemic. Please know that UUCWC is here to help you through this challenging time with support, intention and grace.

Rev. Kim and I have been busy planning UUCWC’s Faith Engagement program for children and youth scheduled to start outside on the grounds of UUCWC (and virtually) on October 3rd.

Before I describe the program, I share this quote from a colleague, CB Beal, who is a religious professional, UUA religious consultant, and who speaks to the tension that informs our decision making this year:

“Now is the time for us to give space and grace to people as they figure out how to self-regulate in seemingly new spaces. Now is the time for us as adults to talk about how things are hard for all of us. We need to teach/re-teach social skills and coping techniques, including to ourselves. We are not ready to jump into big thinking and learning. None of us are. Instead, this is the time for us to focus on community and caring for ourselves and each other.

We may experience a push to get back to “normal” and to do the things we used to do.

We want to suggest that ‘How soon can we get Our Whole Lives going?’ (or any other curricula) is the wrong question. The right questions might include:

How have their relationships been interrupted and injured?

How has our community experienced trauma? How can we heal and reconnect?  Read more here…

Embracing A New Church Year

Maria Baratta, President, UUCWC Board of Trustees

Can we reclaim the word ‘delta’ so that it will once again be used to refer to change rather than a dreaded disease variant? Whether used in a formula for physics, chemistry, math or investing, let’s remember that delta relates to change over time. I think we should refer to 2020/2021 as the era of delta. The symbol for delta is an italicized open triangle. That feels so much more reassuring than the daily graphs and charts we see tracking COVID.

Whether you are a parent getting ready for that first day of a new school year or an employee who may be going back to a workplace for the first time in 18 months, I’m sure you’re all a little like me… scanning the horizon to see what’s ahead. As I write this in mid-August, today doesn’t feel the same as March 2020. Then, it felt like we were strapped to a seat in a packed airplane during a very turbulent flight, hoping to survive the landing. Now, it feels more like driving on a dark and windy road late at night, not sure what’s ahead and relieved each time we get through a curve. Boy, have things changed.

Compare the start of our last church year with the start of this new church year. It’s been a time of dramatic changes brought on by disease, politics, hope, joy and some setbacks. All of it is inextricably bound together. It is dizzying to think about. And through it all, UUCWC has been there to help shine a light and offer balance to our changing lives.

Read more of Maria’s article here…

UUCWC Generous To Those In Need–Here’s Where Your Contributions Go

Holly Bussey, Faith Expression and Funding Team

Our last church year ended with an upbeat tone. Despite the challenges of COVID and lockdown, the year was a transformational one for giving and your Faith Expression and Funding Team Ministry (FEFT). FEFT is the team within the Council for Faith in Action (CFA) responsible for determining how the 50% of the weekly plate contribution is distributed to appropriate organizations.

This past church year, FEFT awarded in excess of $16,000 to groups in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. FEFT’s goal was to distribute funds and to support groups that better reflect our congregational population. Without you, this wouldn’t have been possible!! THANK YOU.

Contributions for the year ending June 30, 2021 were sent to a number of organizations.  See the list and read more about FEFT’s work here…

Interconnection, Inner-Work and Covenanting

Michelle Hunt, Right Relations Committee

As humans, we are connecting all the time. We are drawn into relationships as members of families, organizations, work groups, and congregations. As members of a faith community, we assume involvement with soul work or inner work too. Who am I? What do I believe to be true? What do I value? How do I practice what I say that I believe? Interconnections can be confusing and challenging. Inner work that looks deep into our souls is complex.

We grow personally and spiritually in our faith community. This is the perfect setting to be intentional about how we connect to others, how we deepen our faith, and how we define our promises to ourselves and each other. Covenants are the threads that weave clarity and mutual understanding into the fabric of our lives. Ultimately, we can model what we learn and practice in all areas of our lives.

A thoughtful process for creating covenants leads to the articulation of our promises. Our covenants express guidance for healthy, forgiving relationships. We are responsible for the words of our covenant and for covenanting, the ongoing practice.  Read more here…

A Farewell Message From the Friedmans

Jane and Marty Friedman express their love and appreciation for this amazing community as they take the next step in their journey together. They have moved to Asheville, North Carolina to live as a three generational family with daughter and son-in-law Jasmine and Tobin, their grandchildren Soleil and Soren, and their two (future) dogs. They will be thrilled to accommodate visitors once the house is fully organized.
Their new address will be in the next church directory.

Love to Jane and Marty from all of us here at UUCWC!

Read Rev. Kim’s message on Regathering At UUCWC (August 12, 2021) here: 

https://www.uucwc.org/regathering-at-uucwc-update-from-rev-kim

The latest Reopening Guidelines can be found here:  

http://www.uucwc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/UUCWC_Regathering_Guidelines_and_FAQs_8-12-2021.pdf

New Fall Adult faith formation classes are forming.  For more information, see:

https://www.uucwc.org/learning/adult-learning-classes/

Capital Campaign Update

Jayme Trott, Cochair, Capital Campaign

Since our last update, we have made some progress toward finalizing drawings and selecting a contractor. We reviewed two sets of preliminary drawings and agreed that one was clearly preferable as it allows direct access to the sanctuary lobby from the elevator.

Farzad Shadzik is currently clarifying details and negotiating with two of the contract bidders to see exactly what we can achieve within our budget. He expects to reach a decision faster and at lower cost than having to revise drawings repeatedly and resend them for bid.

At the Q&A sessions in July, questions were posed regarding the Crossings Room wall. It was stated that the engineers are satisfied the wall is sound. Since we know that we will need to replace the outside door and windows in the Crossings Room, a final decision will be made based on the observed condition of the wall when it is “opened.” It is possible that there may be internal damage that would require replacement. 

Read more here…

Food Ministry Update

Christine Piatek, Member

The pandemic has impacted us in countless ways, but has also put words like “reimagining” in our tool kits.  This is no less true for UUCWC’s Food Ministry (FM) which hasn’t missed a beat despite losing access to UUCWC’s kitchen and the way in which meals were supplied. 

Since March 2020, FM has made multiple donations from the Rollie Rahn Memorial Fund to five local organizations to fight food insecurity; filled and delivered over 2000 meal bags to Luther Arms Senior Housing in Trenton and to Homefront; and has restored its own pantry of supplies with over 2000 items through two appeals to the congregation. 

And, the work continues.  FM meets monthly to plan the next few months of meal donations and supply needs and hopes to have another food drive in October.  It could not do this work without the generosity of our UUCWC community.   

Save the Date!​

Read UU World, the magazine of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Connect with UU Faith Action, New Jersey’s issues and social justice advocacy voice, connecting New Jersey UU congregations.  

Unitarian Universalist Church at Washington Crossing

268 Washington Crossing Pennington Road, Titusville NJ  08560

609-737-0515  |  uucwc@uucwc.org  |  www.uucwc.org