On April 23, 2017 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the North Hills:
- People were greeted with warmth as they walked through the front door.
- Folks met before church at a Green Sanctuary meeting to figure out how our church can better live out our values of respect and care for the Earth.
- People met after church for a small group Covenant Circle meeting to listen deeply and share deeply with one another.
- There were handshakes and hugs.
- I heard laughter and saw tears (of joy and sorrow).
- People shared in this community their grief around death in the family.
- There were babies! There were elders. And there were a lot of people in between.
- Some people were of like-mind. Some people disagree. All is well.
- Before church, the brass group was practicing and filled the church with a jubilant sound drifting through the hallways.
- People who have had difficulties with their health brought the news of their recovery to us to share in the joy.
- We sang together. (Where else do most of us get to sing with other people?)
- Someone came to their first Unitarian Universalist service ever and was deeply moved by what they experienced.
Others came back after being away for a little while.
- A couple came yet again, after having come for the last 56 years.
- People cared for one another.
- An atheist sat next to a theist during church.
- Coffee was brewed and food provided by two smiling, willing volunteers. (Have you done coffee hour yet this year?)
- Children played and learned. They wondered and made art. They had an experience of being in a loving environment.
- People reached out to help other people moved by compassion found in their own heart.
- We heard preludes op.28 no. 1 Agitato & no. 4 Largo by Frédéric Chopin; op. 101 no. 7 in G-flat, Pocolento e grazioso by Antonin Dvorák; and “Malgré Tout” Tango in F-sharp minor (Despite All) by Manuel Ponce.
- People were grateful for how this church has been there for them.
- A small group walked the Memorial Garden considering a future service.
- Long held traditions were kept. New ideas took hold.
- People shared their financial resources to support all that we are and create together.
- People came to the community that helps them shape their ethical and moral life.
- We convened for a congregational meeting to make decisions together for the future of the congregation.
- People continued to lift up hope and to walk together to that distant place that hope calls us toward.
- I witnessed and experienced such kindness.
And here is the thing… this Sunday morning was not particularly out of the ordinary. This is the sort of stuff that happens at church EVERY week, month after month, year after year. People choose to gather in our religious community on Sundays and this is the environment that this congregation creates. It is a blessing to be a part of.