Minister's Musings

Our Touchstones Theme for February is LOVE, of course. I LOVE this Unitarian Universalist Faith, and I LOVE this beloved community of a congregation. I invite you to consider your love, too, and invite friends and neighbors this month to experience some of our sort of love. Who do you know who would benefit from this open, active, intelligent religion? Who do you know who would be a wonderful addition? Evangelize a little bit, bring them along, spread the love.

Loving our bodies is a bit more of a challenge for some of us, and I’ll start the month looking at loving the breakdowns bodies sometimes experience (how many surgeries have we had in the past year?!). My own physical decline is a real challenge, and I want to figure out how to continue to accept and celebrate my being, while grieving and letting go of the losses.

When it comes to human rights and needs, Unitarian Universalists SIDE with LOVE. We are in the midst of “30 Days of Love,” from MLK’s birthday to Valentine’s Day. Our Side with Love worship is February 11; I’m looking forward to it!

Love love love, Rev. Karla


Minister's Musings

Happy New Year! Blessings to all of you. I look forward to our new Sunday morning schedule and working out the bugs as we go! I am excited about the new possibilities for rich experiences.

For New Year’s resolutions, I’d like to suggest that you make one that will commit you to nurturing your spiritual life. In our busy lives, we have to be inten- tional about scheduling “non-productive” time (though of course it is truly productive!). Creative activity like making music or art, crafts, gardening, dance and writing can be powerful food for the soul. Perhaps you would like to regularly meditate, or pray, or engage in a mindful movement practice like yoga or tai chi. Reading or conversing about spiritual matters and reflecting can also be beneficial, and of course, there are those walks in the woods.

My own resolution is to read poetry and other creative and spiritual writing at least twice a week; I’m pretty sure I can honor that promise to myself. I expect to dabble in many of the other practices I’ve listed, but I’ll commit to this one at least. This is the kind of reading that touches my spirit and inspires my own writing and creation of worship. Now that it’s public, I’ll have to be accountable!

As we all prepare for my departure in June and get ready for a new minister, I know I, and you, will have some grieving and letting go to do, and also ex- citement and anticipation about a new ministry. Let’s do it together in compassionate and life-giving ways. 


A Time So Hallowed and Gracious


Minister's Musings

Our Touchstones theme for December is Hope. My hope is that we at Granite Peak UU Congregation continue to grow into a truly beloved community, that we seek the path of faith together in all our different ways, that we discover meaningful ways to live our UU principles at home and in the community to bring more faith, hope, love and justice to the world.

We have been struggling to serve families with young children, trying lots of different approaches, for some time. This year, with our new Director of Faith Development, Hanne Stone’s, emphasis on relationship and creative thinking, the ties have grown stronger. This gives me hope.

Hanne and I have studied a paper by Kimberly Sweeney from the New England Region of the UUA entitled “The Death of Sunday School; The Future of Faith Formation” (see it here). We attended a webinar discussing the implications, as well. Many UU congregations are experiencing the same challenges we are, and Sweeney suggests historical, cultural and demographic changes we have experienced as leading up to this Sunday School challenge. She offers a different model of being together on Sundays (an old one some of us have seen before), and the board has approved a trial.

Starting in January, for a 6-month trial, we will have a new schedule on Sundays:

9:15 to 10:15 Faith Development Children’s class, Nursery, Adult class/es.

10:30 to 11:30 Worship for All Ages
11:30 to 12:30 Coffee Hour/Soup Sunday/etc

We expect that this will give us more opportunity to connect between the generations, more opportunities for meaningful faith development, and a more developed religious community. We are working hard on developing the programming in this framework that families, adults, and teens are asking for, and we welcome your input. Details will be available as we develop the plans. I expect everyone will find something they really love in all of this. This gives me hope.

Of course, it is a big change, and there will be some inconvenience and some loss in the process. We can acknowledge these things and grieve as we need to, even as we devote our energies to the new model with our whole hearts.

On Sunday Dec 10 the service will be devoted to this “revolution,” and there will be a chance after the service to share reflections. I look forward to the ongoing conversation.

Blessings of the season, Rev. Karla


Minister's Musings


Faith is our November theme. I stopped thinking of faith as blind belief in rigid doctrine a long time ago. Some of my Humanist and/or atheist friends object to the concept, holding up reason as the ultimate value.

Reason, intellect, curiosity, questioning; these are all amazing qualities of our mind, and Unitarian Universalists hold them high among our values. Faith is another quality, and sometimes I think of it as mind, and sometimes as “heart,” or “soul”. It might be likened to confidence; I have faith or confidence that the Earth will keep on turning so that the sun will rise tomorrow. I am confident in my belief that all humans are capable of both good and evil, and have faith that given support, almost all of us can choose a measure of good most of the time.

I am faithful to my principles of kindness and openness, to the best of my ability. I have faith in the planet’s ability to adjust and heal and evolve, though perhaps not on a human timeline... I do have great faith in our own ability to wake up, become “woke,” and do the work of justice and faith together, learning along the way.

As a congregation of the Unitarian Universalist faith, we are called to examine our ideas and practices and develop our faith. Sunday mornings, Thursday evenings, working with the children and youth, participating in other workshops and activities, give us an opportunity to put our heads and hearts together to see what that looks like, pooling our wisdom and insight, each of us pulling out what resonates or illuminates. Chewing on it. Our third principle in the covenant of congregations is “Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;” we are called to assist one another in the journey.