August, 2013 -- the Beginning

Dear Ones,

I’m grateful for your hospitality and generosity in welcoming me to the Congregation.  I am delighted to have found you and it is a privilege to be held by you.  I look forward to our shared ministry. I’m slowly learning my way around and must tell you that Betty Richards is a skilled tour guide of our area!

I’m delighted to share with you an email I received.  A young couple -- UU’s who have just welcomed their infant son -- have recently moved to Florida from Long Island.  They reached out to me as they wanted their son blessed. We will be dedicating him on August 14th.  How exciting for all of us!

I plan to offer a column each month for the eBeacon which I have titled “From 635”.  I will typically offer a reflection and make short announcements related to our shared ministry.  I want to accomplish several things in this short column this month.  Please bear with me!

I have taken the office in the Sanctuary, mainly because of its accessibility for our members. Please feel free to contact me by calling the minister’s office phone at 561-627-6106.  Please leave a message as I will check for messages a few times each day.  If your call is urgent please use my personal cell phone by calling 508-736-3361.  Please do use this line only in emergencies.  Please email me anytime at   I check my email often and will respond.  Beginning this month I will post office hours.  I am always available by appointment but you can count on me being in my office as follows: Tuesdays 4-7pm, Fridays 9am-1pm, and Sundays 2-4pm.  It’s best to call to make sure I haven’t made an appointment with another person.

I invite you to mark your calendars for Adult Education sessions I will be leading:

Oct 10 and Oct 24, 2013 6pm (MH).  Forward Through the Ages:  In this two- part workshop we will work together to articulate and plan a course that will bring you closer to who you want to be and where you want to be as a Congregation. This work is especially important for me as your minister as I need to know how to direct my ministry to help you become the Congregation you desire to be.  It will be interactive!  Please contact Barbara in the office no later than the Wednesday before each meeting if you plan to place an order for dinner at the cost of $10 per person.

Thursday, Dec 5 and Thursday, Dec 12, 2013 6pm (MH). Walking Together:  As Unitarian Universalists we have no creed and no beliefs are required of us.  We agree to walk together in the good times and the rough times. The Rev. Dr. Jay Abernathy tells us “to come to understand that life is lived with others, that our future is created and determined by how we treat one another, that by the love and trust and forgiveness we actually practice in daily living, not in all the fancy words and complicated creeds we say we believe, we find religious peace and security. All beliefs are finally known to us only by the actions of the believers, how we treat one another, what respect we show one another.”  Join in these two workshops where we will develop our plan for Right Relations within our Congregation.  Please contact Barbara in the office no later than the Wednesday before each meeting if you plan to place an order for dinner at the cost of $10 per person.

I’ve also scheduled activities for newcomers and friends who are interested in becoming members. Conversations with the minister will be held several Sundays at 12 noon in the Sanctuary after the service.  After getting a cup of coffee in Ministers Hall, interested newcomers may return to the Sanctuary to have an informal chat with Rev. CJ McGregor about Unitarian Universalism and this Congregation:

2013 --  Aug 11;  Sep 22;  Oct 20;  Nov 17;  Dec 8.
2014 --  Jan 19;  Feb 16; March 9;   April 20;  May 18.

New UU Classes:  Two Saturdays a year from 9am. to 3pm in the Sanctuary and in Ministers Hall:  Oct 26, 2013 and April 19, 2014. This seminar provides an introduction to Unitarian Universalist beliefs, values, and history, and also to the workings of our Congregation. You’ll meet others who are new to the Congregation, spend time with Rev. CJ, get to know some of our Congregation members and leaders, and have your questions answered in a small group setting. Morning coffee/tea and lunch are provided, as well as childcare – just let us know one week in advance. Pre-registration required.  Please call Barbara in the office to register.

Many members have approached me to ask what our response to the Zimmerman verdict would be.  There are many ways to respond as individuals.  I will be working with the Adult Programs Committee to sponsor a Building the World We Dream About as a Congregational response. Building the World We Dream About is a Unitarian Universalist program that seeks to interrupt the workings of racism and transform how people from different racial/ethnic groups understand and relate to one another. It consists of workshops, with Taking-It-Home activities, reflections, and readings to be done between workshops. The program creates opportunities for participants to practice dreaming our world otherwise, and then committing to new, intentional ways of being. As Unitarian Universalists, we hope developing anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and multicultural habits and skills will lead us to build the multicultural world of beloved community we dream about.  Watch for the details!

I will be away from the Congregation at an Interim Minister Seminar in Minneapolis, August 19-24.  I will be accepting and responding to email.

And finally…. Mindful by Mary Oliver:  Every day I see or hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light.  It was what I was born for - to look, to listen, to lose myself inside this soft world - to instruct myself over and over in joy, and acclamation.  Nor am I talking about the exceptional, the fearful, the dreadful, the very extravagant - but of the ordinary, the common, the very drab, the daily presentations.  Oh, good scholar, I say to myself, how can you help but grow wise with such teachings as these - the untrimmable light of the world, the ocean’s shine, the prayers that are made out of grass?

Peace and Blessings,      CJ


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