Who imagined four years ago (long before either of us thought we would be in the UCUCC Moderator and Assistant Moderator positions we hold today), when each of us put a down payment toward the Iona pilgrimage with Pastor Catherine, that the trip would be two years delayed and our absence would occur as the congregation was emerging from the worst of a world-wide pandemic? Catherine has retired, and Pastor Steve will instead accompany our group. We’re confident each pilgrim carries different intentions for this journey than they originally conceived.
Ed’s and Carol’s week on Iona is bookended by their daughter’s wedding before and time in Scotland afterwards, returning in mid-September. Rose’s Iona time is preceded by a period in Ireland to visit family of origin landmarks, then followed by time in rural Scotland. She and Royce will return to Seattle in late September.
We want you to know that while we are away, we are holding you, our congregation, in prayer. This beloved community has human challenges and struggles, some unique to these times. With you, we are in our lives’ pilgrimages now, and truly all our time away will also be in pilgrimage.
Terry Moore, our Past Moderator, has graciously agreed to serve as Acting Moderator during the period we are both out of the country, from August 24 through September 15. If there are issues that arise which require urgent lay leadership response, Terry is available to listen and respond. When we return, each of us plans to be available for conversation after worship on Sundays and by email or phone during the week.
UCUCC is a congregation led church, working collaboratively with our ordained pastors. Although the Council is not meeting in August, lay leaders continue their work. The feedback from Rekindling Connections Conversation sessions led by the Parish Care Committee and the Calling, Engagement & Community Ministry has been shared with the pastors, moderator, and assistant moderator, and further steps will be discussed in Council in September. The Pastor Search Committee is actively interviewing candidates. With deep roots in the UCUCC community, committee members are listening to the congregation’s priorities and concerns and are seeking a settled pastor who will serve with and complement Pastors Amy and Steve.
All UCUCC members are welcome to attend Council meetings on the third Wednesday of each month. Held at 7:00 pm, the next is scheduled for September 21. Please email Terry or Ed if you would like to attend this hybrid meeting and receive a packet. Each Council packet contains the minutes of the previous meeting and monthly updates by the Moderator, Pastors, and representatives of each of the five Ministries. Past packets can be found on the UCUCC website on the council resource page https://www.universityucc.org/church-council-resources/ and the council actions summary is published in Church & Home. Reviewing them is an excellent way to “peek behind the scenes” and update yourself on the substantial work in process by your fellow lay congregants.
Pastor Amy’s sabbatical will begin after September 4, and she will return in early January. While she is gone, Pastors Steve and Loren will be joined by guest ministers, covenant partners and retired pastors in rotation to preach and provide pastoral care. Prayer circle will continue to be led by Pastor Loren, and Katrina Fitzpatrick will lead the Bible Study group in Amy’s absence.
We hold you in the spirit of continuing to “care for and pray for each other, in trials of the spirit and in times of joy and encouraging each other in the growth of our minds and spirits.”
Blessings and Peace,
Ed Coleman, UCUCC Moderator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rose Morrison, UCUCC Assistant Moderator (email@example.com)