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  A column from our Minister, The Reverend Steve J.  Crump

Refrigerator door philosophy. 


Where you stand determines what you are. 

What you listen to determines what you hear. 

Where you come from determines who you are.

But these things need not lock you in. ~ Robert MacAfee Brown


If you have faith, you will live forward in spite of disappointment. 

If you have hope, you will let nothing die that once proved worthwhile.   ~ Eugene Rosenstock Hussey


Keep loving. Keep serving.  Keep talking.   ~ Cornel West


Remember  to return Guest At Your Table boxes.  Return proceeds anytime in January.  (checks to: UUSC)


Search update:  the Personnel committee and Religious Education leadership team are very engaged in the search for an interim Director of Religious Education to lead and administer our RE program.  We’ve interviewed candidates, had many phone conversations, reviewed resumes, and pursued leads of experience educators country wide.


Complex, thoughtful, and forward-looking   ~ That’s how I’d describe the Five Year Plan, a copy of which should be in each member household’s mailbox and hands by the Congregational meeting on Sunday, January 23.  The plan presents new ventures, reflects familiar themes, and lifts up unfinished projects.  The Planning Committee digested the findings from the cottage meetings and now asks the congregation to take the next step. 


About those January resolutions ~ If you made little headway on last year’s resolutions, why go deeper in debt, so to speak, with new ones?  Why compound the burden by adding to the lists?  Instead of resolutions, (often not taken seriously much beyond Twelfth Night) may I suggest a year of reaffirmation of your core values, those ethical principles that you have honed over the years? 


When counselees share their personal or professional struggles over the phone or in the minister’s study, I find that my first advice (often my only advice) is, “Search your core values and let them be your grounding.  Stand resolutely. Test them by asking if you can sleep well with them.  Would you be proud of a person who decided likewise?” 


Character and maturity require us to make ethical decisions that sit well with us for the long haul.  On January 1st, 170 years ago, Unitarian and renowned abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison published the first edition of his newspaper, The Liberator, in which he said, “I am in earnest.  I will not equivocate.  I will not excuse.  I will not retreat a single inch and I will be heard.”  Sometimes resoluteness sounds obstinate or stubborn –especially to equivocators.  But today civil rights history and museums celebrate Garrison’s clarion call that hastened the end of a hideous institution.  In any era of expediencies, William Lloyd Garrison, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Richard Holbrooke are those whom we have come to admire in the fullness of time.  One fine test for us is to imagine if we might in a distant tomorrow be proud of a decision made today.  That is how I want us to live.