Word for the New Year
– Rev. Nancy Reid-McKee, Minister
As we move into the new year, 2021, we are still in a time of tribulation. While I have a sense of relief that 2020 is behind me, there is no guarantee that the coming year will be trouble-free. It is a good time for each of us to remember that there is only so much we can do as individuals. We can’t control how others behave, and we can’t change the world. The only person we might be able to change and control is yourself.
But I don’t believe too much in the power of new year resolutions, either. There is so much wishful thinking that happens when I dream about how I could be a different, better person. These wishes persist over the years, and I have come to realize that personal changes are going to be lifelong projects, not achievable in a year.
I recently read a blurb by Tim Atkins, a Religious Educator in Oklahoma City, in which he talks about choosing a single word for the upcoming year. Instead of thinking of changing, stopping behavior, beginning new things, he chooses a word to frame his thinking for the year. This word can be multi-layered, and have superficial meaning along with deep resonations. For instance, his word for 2021 is going to be “Roots.” He is settling into a new house (putting his roots down!), building a garden (literal roots!), and looking closer into his ancestry and cultural heritage.
I am thinking of bringing on the word “Altar.” My interpretation of this will be how I can look for the mystery in the world. When I am outside, what feels sacred? When I am with others, am I touched by something that feels magical? I want to pay attention to what feels deeply holy and powerful.
What about you? Could you find a word that sets your intention? What do you want to focus on for the coming year? I would like to challenge you to think of a new, inspiring way to think of your life this coming year. (And, if you wish, I invite you to email me or call me to share your word! I would love to know).
A Personal Connection With Northlake’s Social Justice Work
– Fran W.
When I first visited Northlake UU twelve years ago I was looking for a community to join. I was immediately smitten: the warmth of people from the moment I walked through the door; the social justice power of the Share the Plate program; the moving music that gave voice to my beliefs. Definitely a positive experience.
I came back the following week, and the week after that. I had found a spiritual home and soon signed the membership book.
Having recently retired, I had time to volunteer and I was eager. My love of children led me quickly to the Children’s Religious Education Committee where I taught for many years. My desire for spiritual growth sparked participation in Adult Religious Education classes. Friendships grew deeply through my Chalice group. And my drive to make the world a little kinder and more just has kept me active on the Social Justice committee.
The Share the Plate program began in 2007, two years before I came to Northlake. At that time it was focused on homelessness, wanting to contribute to the Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness. I was impressed by the knowledge of church members who selected organizations to donate to and by the variety of programs we supported: day centers; affordable housing; food banks; shelters; and programs that teach life- and employment-skills.
I watched, learned, and began recommending organizations to consider donating to. When 2018 arrived, Northlake had contributed over $128,000 through the Share the Plate program. It was a proud moment for Northlake, knowing we had touched so many lives. The congregation was still interested in addressing homelessness but also wanted to contribute to other causes. UUSC (Unitarian Universalist Service Committee) disaster relief projects, Black Lives Matter and voter enrollment programs, and survival relief for immigrants crossing the Mexican-US border all deserved support. The congregation voted to expand the focus of the Share the Plate program, maintaining a strong interest in addressing homelessness. The Northlake congregation is compassionate and generous. During the next 3 years, another $36,000 has been contributed to Share the Plate. Pretty amazing to me.
The Social Justice Committee is honored to facilitate the Share the Plate program and strives to make the congregation proud of the organizations it supports. With many new members and a new minister, this seems like a good time to again discern the congregation’s interests and goals for Share the Plate. Please give some thought to what you would like the program to be.
Northlake Office Records
We are missing important information in our records and need your help to complete this new task.
First, we need emergency contact information for each member. It is very important that we have at least one contact person who lives outside your home. There have been several occasions this past year when we needed to contact relatives of a member, but had no names or contact numbers/emails.
While you are at it, can you please let us know your birthday? We will not share the year of your birth, but would like to know what month and day we can remember you on!
Finally, if you have a medical condition that you would like us to know about, and have on record, please send us that information. This can help in the event of an accident or emergency at the church building, and will not be shared with others.
Please send this information to the [email protected]
Here are a few of the birthdays we know of for January. Help us celebrate them:
Cullen B turns 5, Quinn and Amelia T turned 10 on January 1st!
Arantxa B will be 18 on Jan 15th, and Malcolm R will turn 11 on the 23rd.