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Opportunity #1~ Our church is now ready to enroll a church member in Red Cross CPR training. Send a note to the church or to me if you feel you could make such a meaningful contribution in being trained in the training of others. Our goal is to have several in our congregation, especially on Sunday mornings, equipped to conduct CPR and AED procedures.  Our church is the recipient of a gift of two (2) Automated External Defibrillators that will be installed in the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall of our church. An AED is a portable, battery-powered, electronic device that automatically diagnoses life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias and can treat defibrillation on the spot, saving precious minutes and lives in cardiac emergencies.

Opportunity #2~ From an anonymous donor comes word of a blessing for our church – an offer of a matching gift of $30,000 for the completion of the Sanctuary Renovation project this summer.  Let's raise an additional $30,000 and give Great Expectations the $60,000 FINALE it deserves. With that cash, we'll complete the lighting, and add cameras, carpeting, paint, raised chancel, and two high-powered projectors—all the stuff we've been dreaming about for years.  We need the cash this summer. That's our goal, and it is a personal one for me, as well. We first launched Great Expectations in the fall of 2012, long before several new members had an opportunity to give to the campaign.  Others, like me, have given once, twice, or more times to Green-for-Green and related capital improvements. Make your checks out to: Unitarian Church and in the memo field write: GE-FINALE.

Blast from the Past~ Here is an excerpt from a newsletter column published more than once during my ministry here.  I want these words to be a reminder of what a good church is, one that is always trying to be better:

"Theologians call the study of the nature of the church ecclesiology.  Here is my short-hand version of our ecclesiology, a work in progress:

Though we serve coffee here, our church is not a coffeehouse where we mostly speak to those with whom we entered and perhaps say “hi” to those at the next table.  In a good church, we are interested in more than ourselves.  We gather for many terrific meals, but our church is not the Piccadilly Café where we might select what we want and not pay for the rest.  In a good church, we are the cooks, the servers, and the ones being served, plus we are responsible for the whole tab.  The church is not an outpatient clinic where we come when we’ve got a personal problem and “once it’s handled” we leave an empty chair behind.  The church is always full of troubles and woundedness where healing may happen or it may not.  But we gather in a good church not because we want to be repaired but because we have all been broken.

Furthermore, a church is not a political party where “those who don’t see things my way are obviously unenlightened and ill-informed.”  Good churches resist becoming single-issue, one-note churches, because they know there are 12 notes in the musical scale with an infinite number of combinations.  A good church will not dismiss or condemn those who thoughtfully disagree.  Manners, discretion, and courtesy are qualities still honored in good churches. 

A good church is not an amusement park where one emotional high after another is sought.  Nor does a good church dispense spiritual catnip.  On the contrary, while it may celebrate a moment of joy, revelation, or ecstasy, a good church learns to teach one another how to deal with the mundane in our lives, the been-there-done-that of life.  The church is never a funeral home, but a good church has to deal with death.  It has to speak about disappointments just as it celebrates triumphs.  A good church doesn’t run on the semester system.  No grades are ever given out.  Just incompletes – which keep us coming back to live the good life with others one more time."