Series Invitation: Terms of Service March 2023

A big part of my work is asking people to help with some job or another. To help with greeting on Sundays, to reach out to newcomers, to serve on one of justice teams, to bring dinner for Faith Family Hospitality, or to serve on the Board….just to name a few! I usually try to make these invitations personalized, as in, I consider what someone’s interests and gifts are and where these gifts are especially needed. One of the best parts of my work is when we together discover that sweet spot where the need is exactly what will bring someone a sense of purpose and joy.  
And still, the large majority of the time, the response to my invitation is something to the effect of… “I’d love to, but I’m just too busy.” Or “I am not ready to commit. I really need to stay more flexible.” Or “Try me again later,” followed by some major thing that they feel once they are on the other side of they’ll (hope to) have time. 
We all long “to be of use,” as Marge Piercy’s poem puts it. To do our small part in a greater work of love. It is a fundamental part of what it means to be human. Yet, at the same time, these days this can feel out of reach. We feel too overwhelmed and busy, or too disoriented from the pandemic or too unsure of ourselves. Most of all, it’s hard to trust that adding one more thing won’t just feel like one more thing
Over the next few weeks we’re going to be exploring what it means “to be of use.” How important it is in theory and how challenging it can be in reality. How this fundamental action that knits human society together is also the thing that we never fully consented to. We might call it the “fine print” of what it means to be in community. A little like those “terms of service” we all tend to click yes to, without ever having read the many-many-words of details.  
Sunday March 12th we are kicking off our series, Terms of Servicewhere we will spend time exploring some of the fine print – the underlying assumptions baked into how we show up for each other, for ourselves, and for life in a greater sense. And we want to talk about how these assumptions have changed since the pandemic and even before. And how the ways we approach these questions are the same and different across the generations and across cultures. 
Join us for the next four Sundays as we explore the human longing “to be of use,” and the fine print of community: 
Sunday March 12th: Connections that Heal 
Led by Rev. Mary Katherine Morn, President of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. 
Exploring how we long not to be used, but to be of use and how we might cherish, protect, heal and use our gifts.
Sunday March 19th: No Masters, No Flakes 
Led by Rev. Sean Neil-Barron.
Exploring Mutual Aid & Community Care as a paradigm of serving that heals the 
charity and justice divide.
Sunday March 26th: You’re On the Team
Led by Rev. Elaine Aron-Tenbrink 
Exploring how everyone has a part in the shared work, and the idea of giving/receiving as a false dichotomy. 
Sunday April 2nd: Replace Yourself
Led by Rev. Gretchen Haley 
Exploring how we are responsible for mentoring another generation who will take our place in the great work.
We hope to see you this Sunday, March 12, as we kick off Terms of Service with special guest, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee President, Mary Katherine Morn. The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is a nonprofit organization advancing human rights. Their work focuses on intersecting roots of injustice to defend rights at risk due to criminalization and systemic oppression of people based on their identity. If you are interested in making a difference in our community and the world, you won’t want to miss this service!
Join us at 8:30 AM (in person) or 10:30 AM (in person or online).
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