Monday, September 14, 2015

Reinventing Sunday

     I go to church at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Essex County, right off Main Street in Orange, NJ.  I went to church there when I was a girl and love that it is a place from my childhood largely unchanged.  It is unchanged as a building and a place of spirit, but the number of congregants has fallen so far that last year we talked of closing the church -- we might have to, but for now we are reinventing it as a campus for community life and a new kind of potluck worship.  Darcy Hall is the lead inventor.  She has a keen ear for spiritual readings and knows how to link them with things to do that adults like.  Last night, we had our first Soulful Sundown Service on the topic of friendship.  She read a lovely essay about the challenges of friendship and then proposed that we write haiku.  This was just great, as the essay had brought up so many thoughts and people each had their own slant.  We did a lot of singing -- Bill Stafford got great music out of the upright piano in our Parish Hall.  Though we were not many, we sang with gusto and filled the room.  It was fun, too, because we were liberated from the burden of the order of service.  People kept interjecting ideas and that was just fine.  Instead of failing to produce a service in the sanctuary, we succeeded in having a spiritual moment in the Parish Hall.
     We are also doing lots of work on our property, at the urging of our sexton.  We've upgraded the outdoor lighting and we're putting in a new walkway and entrance.  It's going to be grand and wonderful.
     Three cheers for reinvention and reinvestment!

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