August is a time of transition and new beginnings for many. Families send their kids back to school, or off to college for the first time. People visit our church in even greater numbers, seeking a spiritual home. We prepare to start a new “church year” in September.
I’m looking forward to my own new beginning. At the time of writing, I’m awaiting the birth of twins. By the time you read this, my wife and I may be parents, adjusting to a whole new reality and caring for these tender little lives!
On August 1st, Scott Cooper will begin serving our church part-time as Sabbatical Minister. Scott is a member of First Unitarian, and it was out of our congregation that he felt called to ministry. He went to seminary at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, and just returned from a yearlong internship at UU Society of Sacramento, CA. Scott will serve as part of the ministerial team, help with coverage during my maternity leave, and continue until Rev. Kanter returns from sabbatical in the new year. I am looking forward to working with Scott! You will see him on Sunday mornings in worship and in the classrooms. Please welcome him warmly to this new role within our church community.
This month is also a time when many embark on what’s called “church shopping.” Our church welcomes many visitors year-round, but we often experience an uptick in August. Why? I think it’s because as people look ahead to the new school year and returning to more of a routine than we often follow in summertime, they are looking for a religious community in which to connect and be supported and find meaning. This is why every year, at the end of August, we preach Seeker Sermons – an introduction to or reminder of who we are as Unitarian Universalists. Have you ever had difficulty articulating what this church is about – to your friends, or to people visiting the church? Whether you’ve just arrived or been here a while, you’re not alone! I hope you’ll consider attending the three-session UU Elevator Speech class, which begins August 13. Last year’s participants in the UU Elevator Speech class were able to put it into practice immediately while volunteering at CitySquare, staffing our table at the Dallas Pride celebration, and with family and friends.
What new beginnings are you experiencing this month? Always know that your church community is here for you as you navigate the excitement and the challenge that this time of year brings.