Minister’s Column – Feb. 2019

I love the image of the Hindu god Indra’s net, stretching out in all directions,
weaving the universe in place. At each intersection where the
strands cross each other sits a glittering jewel, and each jewel reflects the
light of every other jewel. So what happens to one jewel, happens to all.
A net or web is a good metaphor for a congregation the size we have
become. There is no longer a center around which everything revolves.
We remain as connected as ever, though it can feel a bit disconcerting
because no one knows everything or everything that is going on. Not
even – perhaps especially not even – the minister.
The many cross currents and groups and new initiatives in the church
these days are varied and exciting. We have even found that our financial
situation, while still a concern, is nowhere near as serious as we thought
last fall. A combination of staffing changes, new members and growing
generosity is helping.
Our commitment to our homeless neighbors and to environmental justice
remains strong.
The newest Action Team for Immigrant Rights has lit a fire in many hearts
about the treatment of migrants at our borders.
And meanwhile our Five For Five Force – the five-year vision task force
made up of five dedicated souls – has been hard at work. At this phase
much of that work has been a bit in the background. We’ve been compiling
input from three congregational gatherings – two led by the Board of
Trustees in September and January, and one led by 545 Force in October.
With all that input, we have come up with a very draft-y, working vision
statement.
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura gathers to:
• Invite connections and diversity
• Spark and nurture free journeys of spiritual growth
• Reach out to create a more just and loving community, in harmony
with nature.

We do not intend this to be a final statement, just a guide for our visioning
work, a framework around which we can build our vision for the next
five years.
These days are a fascinating time to be doing visioning work. We are as
a congregation still living into the bold visions of the last decade. All
the work we do – gathering together in worship, small groups, religious
education classes and more, reaching out to heal the world beyond our
walls – all of it is adding to the sum total of love and justice in the world.
We are being the church in profound ways, and the world needs us now
more than ever.
Let us remember, too, the words of Howard Thurman. “Don’t ask what
the world needs. Ask what brings you alive, and go do that, because what
the world needs is people who have come alive.”Let us think big, dream together, and come alive. For as we do, our aliveness will reflect in everyone else’s in Indra’s net and together we will bring forth more life and love.
With Love, Rev. Dana