One characteristic of Unitarian Universalism is something called “local polity.” In simple terms, it means each congregation is responsible to thoughtfully chart its own course. Each UU congregation chooses its leaders, decides how to organize, and manages its resources. Congregations make these decisions through open and inclusive processes which align with shared values.
We see “local polity” in action during the annual meeting of a congregation. We hear how our values have been expressed during the past year, do our voting, and gently begin to state shared hopes for the coming year.
This year is no exception. In the midst of the strange and stressful times of a pandemic you have persevered. The congregation has hung together and cared for one another and cared for the wellbeing of the congregation — a testament to your leaders and to the possibilities of online voting.
It’s the end of a church year and people are tired. This isn’t new for 2021. What feels a bit different is how often I hear folks saying they are “just fried” or “so ready to be done.” In church, at school, with family, and across our communities we have had to navigate on unfamiliar paths and carry out responsibilities in new, and often awkward, ways.
Take a minute and note the past year’s challenges. Breathe deep.
As we wind down this year it’s helpful to ask: Are we offering one another and ourselves grace at this time? Are we taking time to express deep appreciation for what we have each been able to do? Are we looking past details, and rough spots, and seeing the many ways kindness has been expressed? Are we remembering the creative and adaptive ways we’ve journeyed (sometimes awkwardly!) with one another?
At our annual meeting we do the business of the congregation and we have a chance to offer grace as we honor the many ways we’ve stayed connected this year when so much has been unfamiliar and outside of our control.
Blessings and thank you for our year together,