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The Seven Eight Principles
  1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person;

  2. Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;

  3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;

  4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;

  5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;

  6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;

  7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part

  8. And our Eighth Principle... We affirm and promote the following 8th Principle:

    Journeying toward spiritual wholeness by building a diverse, multicultural Beloved Community that by our actions accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.

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From Your Moderator

(posted: 2023-12-03)
This past Sunday was an excellent window into who we are becoming. For the morning worship service, with full pews, we had a reflection by Steve W about Native American 2-spirit people, a ritual honoring the Trans Day of Remembrance and Resilience, and two wonderful trans presenters sharing their stories and encouraging us to be co-conspirators (beyond allies) with them in their work to raise awareness of trans issues and fight the regression in trans rights in places like Texas, Florida, and even Pennsylvania. Then after a wonderful coffee hour potluck with dishes inspired by Native American culture, we watched a fantastic film called "Native Women Speak: What We Didnít Learn in School", created by the Coalition of Natives and Allies (CAN), and then got to ask questions of Arla, Donna, and Kelley from the CNA, who were also featured in the film. This was well-attended, including a good number of folks from the neighborhood beyond the congregation, and was a great pilot and kick-off of a series of social justice films and speakers, as suggested by Anam O-E and discussed at our Town Hall Meeting in October. Thanks to Mary L (and the other volunteers) for all her efforts to make this program happen!

This fall is the first time we have been fully staffed for a couple of years now, between finding Religious Educators and a Music Director! We are so delighted to have Holly Phares leading our music and keeping our choir challenged and enjoying each otherís company again! And we are equally excited to have the experience, wisdom, energy, and creativity of Elizabeth Ann Terry as our Religious Educator! A number of new kids have been attending regularly, and we are excited about this growth!

In October, we had a Town Hall Meeting to share what has been happening with our considering a Community Partnership,

our work on Reparations in several areas, the Beloved Conversations Among program, our work on Indigenous issues, and to report on the Board Retreat in September. The Retreat included ideas for possible programs in the future that further our Mission of Building Beloved Community by embracing all souls and nurturing wholeness, and feedback from the congregation as to which to pursue first. The idea of the Justice film/speaker series was one, which fit nicely with the CNA film idea, with other possibilities including Neurodiversity and Reparations. Another was going on outings in nature with our kids. There was significant interest in looking into planting a Three Sisters Garden (corn, squash, and beans) in the Native American tradition on our vacant lot, and possibly moving toward a Community Garden to extend the concept even further. There is also interest in reviving our Jazz Vespers, as well as Game Nights, and working with the local community to clean parks and rec centers (probably starting with MLK Day of Service in January). Finally, we hope to start in January designing a process for strategic long-range planning for next church year (2024-25); contact Bruce if you are interested in participating.

I am delighted to share that Laurie D and Craig S have jumped in as co-chairs of the Justice Council, and have lots of great ideas and new ways of doing things that will help us all! Please thank them when you see them.

Brenda R, Jill S, Rita F, Anne A, and others are jumping in to help re-organize how we do coffee hour, ushering, etc. Keep your eyes peeled for items in the weekly newsletter about what these changes will look like, and please volunteer when you can so we can all be part of supporting each other.

Thereís a lot happening at UUs of Mt. Airy Ė please jump in to help with whatever brings you joy and satisfaction!

Your humble servant,
Bruce

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