As we look with hope towards the springtime, warmer weather, and (for the love of all that is sacred) a little less rain, there are many exciting opportunities for connecting, deepening, and renewing and I'd like to highlight a few with you now.
Tea Time with the Minister (April 9th)
Beginning April 9th, I will be leaving space one Thursday a month from 12-1pm for tea-time (or coffee!). No need to make an appointment. I am hopeful that this time will be used for folks to drop in, grab a chair, and chat about important things or... not so important things. And if we find we need Tea Time more often, I hope we can expand it to meet the needs of the community.
Spring Camp Out (April 24-26)
We enjoyed the Fall campout so much we hated to wait a whole year to do it again! We hope you will join us for a weekend of festivities at Vogel State Park. There may be campsites left, however, if you are unable to secure one, please stop by for the day on Saturday or the service on Sunday morning- or both! We expect campfires with s'mores, hiking, arts and crafts, storytelling, and more!
General Assembly (June 24-28)
Many of you have already planned your trip to Providence, Rhode Island for the 2020 UUA General Assembly but for those who may be new to Unitarian Universalism, you may wonder what this is all about. GA, as it is often called, is the gathering of representatives and members of UU churches from all around the US, and often beyond. We do the work of the association, voting on bylaws, budget, and leadership and deciding where to focus our energies in the coming year. We take workshops on things like these offered this year, "The Power of Our Stories: Creating Multicultural Congregations", "Faith Development in Community", "Joyful Noise: Why Congregational Singing Matters" and "Liberal Religion Beyond Optimism."
We also do BIG worship services with BIG music and BIG messages. There will be several thousand UU's at the same place and the same time celebrating what makes us magical and challenging us to continue to evolve. If you are interested in attending, there is still plenty of time to sign up! Just let Wynne Ewing or I know and find everything you need here: https://www.uua.org/ga
Boston Trip (June 21-23)
While we're on the topic of GA, several of us are planning a side trip to Boston to learn more about our faith's heritage by traveling to a city rich in its history. Possible sites include: UUA headquarters where the staff is always excited to say hello, some of the oldest UU churches in the United States (including the Church of the Presidents- where John Adams and John Quincy are buried), Harvard Divinity School- home of our most historic, original Unitarian and Universalist documents, Freedom Trail, Black Heritage Trail, the New England Holocaust Memorial, Boston Garden (an important historical site for UU's!), Quincy Market, historic Salem, not to mention visiting the Italian district (pastries from Mike's anyone??), lobstah rolls (if that's your thing), and chowdah.
If you are interested in joining us (for one day or more), please be in touch with me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those who want to go, but cannot make it during these dates, or prefer to do a tour by yourself, I will be writing up the schedule, descriptions, and locations and will be happy to share them so that you can visit and sightsee on your own timeline!
Small Group Ministry (Coming Summer 2020)
GMUUC has long had a small group that meets monthly, but it was a goal of the board of trustees this year to expand this to geographic locations so that more people could take advantage of the gift of these groups. The UUA describes SGM, as "covenant groups" or "chalice circles" which are usually made of 10-12 people who meet regularly, usually monthly, ... and are great places to get to know other people and to get to know yourself. Over time, participants build deep connections with one another, with the congregation, and with the sacred." We are envisioning groups set in locations that are convenient to our members (Gainesville, Cleveland, Dahlonega, Dawsonville, etc) with rotating hosts, sharing a meal, and with a leader trained to facilitate conversations around our monthly worship theme.
If you are interested in being a leader of one of these groups or would like more information, please be in touch with me at email@example.com so that I can schedule a training time or answer any of your questions. I am imagining the program to begin this summer with training in the month or two beforehand.
I am looking forward to all of these ways of connecting with you in the months to come.
Yours in Community,