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September Message from Our Minister
Rev. Andrée Cornelia Mol
Minister, Central Unitarian Church
As September begins, summer reaches its last days.
The seasonal heat remains with us, but our daily visits from the sun become shorter. Kids return to school. Those in college have already left home. Here at CUC, we prepare for a new congregational year.
This is a year like no other for us. Last Sunday, during service, we processed from our previous property in Paramus to our new temporary home in Westwood. We shed tears and held each other’s grief as we left our long-time spiritual home. And we gathered with joy and excitement in our new worship space. Many of us feel the energy of opportunity during this time of transition as we welcome a new chapter at CUC.
The world, of course, continues beyond our congregation. Wildfires and hurricanes have devastated communities. War continues its devastating effect on the people of Ukraine and other conflict zones throughout our globe. Gun violence and racism continue to plague us, the most recent one in Jacksonville, FL. In our modern age of rapid digital communication, we are left to make sense of all this and more.
At times like these, I find myself turning to a spiritual practice of gratitude. With so much happening in our world and in our life as a congregation, it is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of it all. I find grounding in welcoming gratitude.
My office is still full of boxes, just as it was this time four years ago when I first arrived at CUC. As I unpack, I find many reasons to be grateful: for this congregation and its presence in Bergen County, for my continuing role as your minister, for the new chapter we are starting in the history of CUC, for the dedicated staff and volunteers who helped make our move possible and who remain busy designing our new permanent home, for all of you who continue to believe in the need for our congregation to be a beacon of Unitarian Universalism with its saving message of hope and love, for my family and the immense joy they bring into my life, for this living earth that offers me beauty each day, and for the mystery of living which has blessed each and every one of us.
What about you? How are you welcoming gratitude? No matter what gifts or challenges life has offered you, welcoming gratitude provides us each a way to nourish our spirits. May we all experience gratitude for the many blessings in our lives.
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