Staff Blogs: Paula’s Perspectives – December 2020


In this time of dark and weariness, what light shall guide us through? Do we have a North Star to follow? Are we being led to a miracle?

When the children of the church developed their idea for the Christmas Pageant, it was clear they were interested in the miracle stories. And that’s what it ended up being about: the miracles of Hanukkah and Christmas, the birth of the Universe, and Unitarian Universalism. They could see so clearly how all of these were considered miracles.

But what shall we call our miracles today? That we made it through this year? That it’s almost over? And what shall be the North Star for us, guiding us to the future not yet foretold?

I offer to you that there has been a miracle this year, and it is the miracle of connection. When we shut down in March, staff had two mantras we kept repeating. “The church is not the building,” and “Connection, not perfection.” And with that we set out to bring you as much engagement and authentic church life as possible. Virtual worship, continued quality music, creative administration, and deep faith engagement.

For my part, I was able to serve within my portfolios to support that authentic church life. Working with Welcoming and Membership, we held a virtual new member Sunday, celebrating 9 new UUCCH members! We held church-wide events virtually (like the Halloween and Holiday parties), and got to know each other more deeply through the Daily Noon Connections. We created space for smaller groups during virtual coffee hour. And the Leadership Development and Nominating Committee has expanded their knowledge base, and is better equipped to help invite people into church leadership. All of this in a Pandemic! I think that’s pretty miraculous.

But for me, the most space for miracle magic has come in Lifespan Faith Engagement (LFE). Striving to provide avenues of connection for all ages, I worked with the fabulous LFE Team and the staff and we were able to offer a wide array of gathering opportunities. Ones that would expand the mind, deepen the heart, find the fun, AND MOST OF ALL, strengthen the connections.

And here we are, at the end of this crazy year. And as the light returns, we may look to new ways to experience that miracle magic. And have we got a deal for you! A whole new catalog of classes, gatherings, and events for ALL ages. And maybe it’s not truly a miracle, but I do believe it is sure to sprinkle your life with joy, enthrall your spirit, and open the mind to new ways of thinking.

My hope is that you will find these opportunities engaging and connective. My hope is that you discover a new path, a new perspective, and new friends. This is the miracle of faith engagement. This is the light to guide our way. And I am so glad to be travelling along with you on the journey.

In Faith,

Paula Gribble, Director of Lifespan Faith Engagement