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Sacred Link Week 7

Category : Transitions

Affirmation

Week 7 in a series of digital sacred conversations about HUCC’s covenant.  Guidance by Rev. Marijke Rossi. 

Our full covenant

Week seven: Affirmation


I am entering into this covenant freely and will strive to live it out as fully as I am able, with the help of God and the support of the community. Further, I will support others as they seek to do the same.


Purpose

The purpose in reviewing the covenant as sacred conversation and in this way at this time is to continue the conversation we started before the pandemic; online because we can no longer meet in person. It is a way that can be helpful and move us along in this process before the new senior pastor arrives. We pray that it will be useful and healing for all of us.

Agreement

We shall start each one of these sessions with an extension of grace and a request for grace, along with the guidelines used for all sacred conversations at HUCC:

  • We will listen as we read to the content here and to other’s responses with respect, with discernment and without judgement.
  • Let us respond in Love and caring for one another.
  • As we respond let us do so with “I” language to promote each person’s voice including our own.

I am entering into this covenant freely and will strive to live it out as fully as I am able, with the help of God and the support of the community. Further, I will support others as they seek to do the same.

This is the last piece of the covenant focus. It has been a real pleasure to dig into the soil of this garden we all live in together. Our awareness of how we live together helps us to keep things clear of weeds that choke our love for each other. The covenant gives us nutrients to grow spiritually and help others to do the same. Like a garden we are all in different places of growth and color.

Please ask whatever questions come up for you as you revisit the covenant you entered into as a member of HUCC.

I invite us to reply to: pastor@holladayucc.org. The replies sent will help to inform the next phase of exploring our move forward.

Blessings, Pastor Marijke


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Sacred Link Week 6

Category : Transitions

Reconciliation

Week 6 in a series of digital sacred conversations about HUCC’s covenant.  Guidance by Rev. Marijke Rossi. 

Week six: Reconciliation

Purpose

The purpose in reviewing the covenant as sacred conversation and in this way at this time is to continue the conversation we started before the pandemic; online because we can no longer meet in person. It is a way that can be helpful and move us along in this process before the new senior pastor arrives. We pray that it will be useful and healing for all of us.

Agreement

We shall start each one of these sessions with an extension of grace and a request for grace, along with the guidelines used for all sacred conversations at HUCC:

  • We will listen as we read to the content here and to others’ responses with respect, with discernment and without judgment.
  • Let us respond in Love and caring for one another.
  • As we respond let us do so with “I” language to promote each person’s voice including our own.

 ... to look honestly at our history so that wounds of the past may be healed and conflicts reconciled.


“I will celebrate fully and without reserve the ministry done by Holladay UCC these past fifty years. I will open myself to hear and acknowledge the mistakes made throughout that history. I will resist the temptation to block dialogue about uncomfortable times in the history of the church. I will resist the temptation to assign guilt or blame to another for past conflicts. I will do all that is within my power to reconcile with persons with whom I have had strong disagreements in the past.”


As we celebrate, open ourselves, resist, and do, all of the above, let us do so with an open heart. Our history is part of all that we are as a community. It informs our feeling of accomplishment. And informs fears in our lack of coming to full resolution on issues from which we have not healed. In order for us to celebrate our history fully, we must feel good about all aspects of our being together.

When we reconcile with those with whom we have had conflict, we can move forward with a clear understanding of relationship that truly honors all humans. As we experienced last week in our look at conflict resolution, we know this takes work. Please take to heart in that we can come to the table of reconciliation with no shame or guilt and analyze the situation in love and compassion.

Let’s make sure that we can celebrate fully in the future by honoring the process of reconciliation and working toward resolution in all times of conflict.

Please ask whatever questions come up for you as you revisit the covenant you entered into as a member of HUCC.

I invite us to reply to: pastor@holladayucc.org. The replies sent will help to inform the next phase of exploring our move forward.

Blessings, Pastor Marijke


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Sacred Link Week 5

Category : Transitions

Conflict and Respect

Week 5 in a series of digital sacred conversations about HUCC’s covenant.  Guidance by Rev. Marijke Rossi. 


Week five: Facing conflict


Purpose

The purpose in reviewing the covenant as sacred conversation and in this way at this time is to continue the conversation we started before the pandemic; online because we can no longer meet in person. It is a way that can be helpful and move us along in this process before the new senior pastor arrives. We pray that it will be useful and healing for all of us.

Agreement

We shall start each one of these sessions with an extension of grace and a request for grace, along with the guidelines used for all sacred conversations at HUCC:

  • We will listen as we read to the content here and to others’ responses with respect, with discernment and without judgment.
  • Let us respond in Love and caring for one another.
  • As we respond let us do so with “I” language to promote each person’s voice including our own.

Here is the language of our covenant:

…to face conflicts openly and with respect


I will take my questions and concerns directly to the person or persons involved rather than allowing anger and frustration to build among a small group of people. I will not “let it slide” or “brush it under the rug” when a problem needs to be openly discussed. I will remind myself that each member of this congregation is a child of God, whether s/he agrees with me or not. I will allow myself a cooling-off period so that an issue can be discussed rationally and respectfully. I will respectfully decline participation in conversations that tear another down or assign blame to someone not present. I will speak only for myself in conflict situations. I will listen mindfully.

This is likely the piece of our covenant that is the most important at this moment in our history or maybe ever. Only our relationship with the Divine is more important!


If only: Conflict resolution is crucial to the health of our community. Every time we look back at our history, we find injuries that are still painful. Many times, we say and hear, “if only we…”, “if I had said something in the beginning…”,” I don’t understand what happened but I don’t like it.” Looking back at our issues is a good thing when we do it with healing and resolution in mind. Updating and changing how we resolve things is healthy.

Don’t wait: The front line is right when a conflict occurs. We need to confront the issue there. A cooling off period may be necessary but an agreement about the length of that time should be entered into from the start.

Sooner or later: Letting things go may feel like the Christian thing to do. We may feel that it is the good thing to do. I understand this sentiment. However, this kind of thinking does not honor ourselves or the person we have conflict with. Leaving these things generally means that we will have to resolve them later. 

Keep it cool: Confronting an issue need not be heated. We can calmly discuss with each other in “I” language about what has happened. If this cannot happen because one or both parties doesn’t feel safe then others trained to help can be brought in to assist with a conversation. Please contact a pastor or moderator and a meeting can be set up to facilitate the dispute. This is a healthy way to resolve conflict issues and should be encouraged.

No gossip: We must not bring in others outside of the conflict to take sides or speak about the conflict in order to recruit support. We must not gossip about situations. We must have healthy conversations to help us to move forward with clear thinking and resolution that honors the souls involved.

Resolve it: Imagine what it would be like to look back at our history as one of great relationships not broken ones, great strides in justice not unfair practices, Love and welcome for all, not throwing away precious souls, without regrets not suffering past grief. Conflict resolution does that. It boils down to repentance and forgiveness which happens within conflict resolution.

Training: If you think you would like some training on healthy conflict resolution please let us know. We are planning some healthy boundary training that Pastor Chelsea is sourcing. Please ask whatever questions come up for you as you revisit the covenant you entered into as a member of HUCC.

I invite us to reply to: pastor@holladayucc.org. The replies  will help to inform the next phase of exploring our move forward. 

Blessings,

Pastor Marijke


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Sacred Link 4

Category : Transitions

Passing the Word

Week 4 in a series of digital sacred conversations about HUCC’s covenant.  Guidance by Rev. Marijke Rossi.

Week four: Improve Communication


Purpose

The purpose in reviewing the covenant as sacred conversation and in this way at this time is to continue the conversation we started before the pandemic; online because we can no longer meet in person. It is a way that can be helpful and move us along in this process before the new senior pastor arrives. We pray that it will be useful and healing for all of us.

Agreement

We shall start each one of these sessions with an extension of grace and a request for grace, along with the guidelines used for all sacred conversations at HUCC:

  • We will listen as we read to the content here and to others’ responses with respect, with discernment and without judgment.
  • Let us respond in Love and caring for one another.
  • As we respond let us do so with “I” language to promote each person’s voice including our own.

…to improve our communication.

I will take responsibility for reading bulletin announcements, Tidings articles and Email communications so that I will be further informed about programs. I will take responsibility for making sure announcements regarding the activities I coordinate are placed in the bulletin, in Tidings and on Email. I will actively explore new ways to let others know what’s happening at Holladay UCC. I will take my questions and concerns directly to the person or persons involved rather than making assumptions. 

Pass it along: This is such an important part of our commitment to each other! Especially now. During this time while we are apart, we need to seek out ways of getting information and passing it along to others who may not have internet access. Educating ourselves about what is happening at church and engaging in the processes set out by all of us makes it much easier to embrace community life.

In communion together: All of leadership at HUCC has worked to get communication out about services, outreach, social justice, Covid response information and any other important announcements. We use all of the means available to us and work hard to keep us in communion together.

Voicing needs: May we embrace our ability to use our voices to convey our needs and may we use our ability to learn, grow, and be in covenant by listening to our community and its needs.

Please ask whatever questions come up for you as you revisit the covenant you entered into as a member of HUCC. I invite us to reply to: pastor@holladayucc.org. The replies sent will help to inform the next phase of exploring our move forward.

Blessings, Pastor Marijke


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Sacred Link 3

Category : Transitions

When ‘No’ is a healthy word

Week 3 in a series of digital sacred conversations about HUCC’s covenant. 

Guidance by Rev. Marijke Rossi. 

Week three: Find Balance


We will restate the purpose and the agreement each week.
Purpose

The purpose in reviewing the covenant as sacred conversation  in this way at this time is to continue the conversation we started before the pandemic; online because we can no longer meet in person. It is a way that can be helpful and move us along in this process before the new senior pastor arrives. We pray that it will be useful and healing for all of us.

Agreement

We start each one of these sessions with an extension of grace and a request for grace, along with the guidelines used for all sacred conversations at HUCC:

  • We will listen, as we read, to the content here and to others’ responses with respect, with discernment and without judgment.
  • Respond in Love and caring for one another.
  • As we respond let us do so with “I” language to promote each person’s voice including our own.

… to find balance in our commitments.

I agree to say no to any project or activity that I feel I cannot commit to fully. I agree to work diligently on those projects or activities which I take on. I agree to ask for help when I find myself over-committed. I agree to offer help rather than complain when a project is not running according to my schedule. I agree to lay aside both guilt and blame for the sake of building a stronger community. I agree to respect and support the efforts of leaders, pastors and other congregation members to balance their time.

Healthy no: Sometimes it is difficult to say “no” to anything your church asks of you and yet it is healthy to do so when you feel you can’t commit. You might be saying to yourself, “I can fit this in,” or “I know they need me.”

Happy or burdened: Do some critical questioning of  yourself before saying yes to commitments to church. How am I feeling about what I have been asked to do? Am I happy about it or burdened by it, does it fit my value system and what was my initial reaction? Once we have discerned these things, we can make a more informed decision. When we feel good about our decision to commit to a project it is much easier to do it fully with love and respect for ourselves and the project.

Ask for help: When our projects or ministries become overwhelming, seek help. It is not wrong to do so!  Things change in the world. Our whole church life has changed with the pandemic. Surely more changes will occur. Adaptability is good but being overwhelmed doesn’t help ministry or us. Our personal lives change too and we can’t help that. 

Guilt free: Our church should be one that rejects shame and guilt. If we can’t manage, there is grace to say that it is okay to step away for a bit and adjust expectations. Let’s be kind to ourselves and everyone else. The other side of this is if we notice someone is struggling in their ministry we can gently ask if we can help. If we have the capacity to do so, do it in a way that is coming alongside the person without taking over.

Boundaries: Self-care comes up often in boundary training for clergy. It is equally important for everyone else. Boundary training helps us to acknowledge good relationships and protects us from getting into negative behavior. Setting boundaries for ourselves in what we commit to is crucial to self-care. 

Loving ourselves: We all have obligations we feel we must take care of in our lives. Managing priorities is the key. Let us always honor ourselves as much as we honor others. Jesus calls us to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. Sometimes it is difficult to love yourself as much as others. I know. I grew up serving the needs of others and learned to value others before myself. I think this is common in women of my generation. We are equal and precious in the love of God. 

Please ask whatever questions come up for you as you revisit the covenant you entered into as a member of HUCC.I invite replies to: pastor@holladayucc.org. The replies sent will help to inform the next phase of exploring our move forward. 

Blessings, Pastor Marijke


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Sacred Link 2

Category : Transitions

New ways of trust

Week 2 in a series of digital sacred conversations about HUCC’s covenant.  Guidance by Rev. Marijke Rossi. 

We will restate the purpose and the agreement each week.


Purpose

The purpose in reviewing the covenant as sacred conversation and in this way at this time is to continue the conversation we started before the pandemic; online because we can no longer meet in person. It is a way that can be helpful and move us along in this process before the new senior pastor arrives. We pray that it will be useful and healing for all of us.

Agreement

We shall start each one of these sessions with an extension of grace and a request for grace, along with the guidelines used for all sacred conversations at HUCC:

  • We will listen as we read the content here and to others’ responses with respect, with discernment and without judgment.
  • Let us respond in love and caring for one another.
  • As we respond let us do so with “I” language to promote each person’s voice including our own.

Shared History

I reached out to Rev. Erin Gilmore, Glen Brown and Rev. Bob von Trebra to get more information about when our Covenant and our Covenant of Membership were created. Pastor Bob replied that those documents were already in place when he was at HUCC. Glen wrote that the covenant was originally drafted in 2004-2005 when Jill Warner worked with us as an intentional interim.  The idea was to create a behavioral covenant to guide the community through difficult times.  Pastor Erin replied, “The membership covenant was adapted from various UCC churches and evolved over time during my tenure at Holladay.” Even though we all have had the opportunity to participate in being in this covenantal relationship it is helpful to understand its origins. It is also remarkable to me that this has been in place for so long without changes. I feel that this says so much about the care and wisdom that was put in to its creation. 

Here is the second part of our covenant
With Gods help, we covenant with one another……. to learn new ways of trust.
I will learn to trust that other members of the congregation are capable of carrying out a project.
I will learn to trust that the leaders are making the best possible decision with the information given them.
I will learn to trust that the pastors have the best interest of the congregation in the forefront of all decisions made.


Trusted leaders

We had our congregational meeting recently and we voted on filling volunteer positions with people we trust to lead in boards/ministries. We delegate and trust that all of these individuals will have our best interest at heart. We believe this, not just because of bylaws set for those positions alone but because we are in covenant.

A trusted covenant

Trust is so difficult at times, especially when we have opinions about what should be done and those in leadership are making decisions that we don’t understand. The trust in our covenant does not mean we cannot ask questions of those making decisions. What it does do is require that we ask in a way that honors our relationship through kindness and unassuming grace.

Responding


As a pastor now and in the past a member of leadership in this community I welcome feedback, questions and dialogue about anything that is troubling to others. I also honor myself in the discussion and insist that the interaction is safe for all parties. Trust requires good healthy boundaries, which we will be addressing in the future.


Please ask whatever questions come up for you as you revisit the covenant you entered into as a member of HUCC. I invite us to reply to: pastor@holladayucc.org. The replies  will help to inform the next phase of exploring our move forward.

Blessings, Pastor Marijke


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Sacred Link 1

Category : Transitions

Special series — Week 1

A digital sacred conversation on HUCC’s covenant

To the HUCC family:


This special email is an introduction and Part 1 of 7 digital Sacred Conversations on the HUCC Covenant.  It is being sent each week by Rev. Marijke Rossi, in collaboration with Rev. Chelsea Page and Council.


Purpose

The purpose in reviewing the covenant as sacred conversation  in this way at this time is to continue the conversation we started before the pandemic and we can no longer discuss in person. It is a way that can be helpful and move us along in this process before the new senior pastor arrives. We pray that it will be useful and healing for all of us.

Agreement

We would like to start each one of these sessions with an extension of grace and a request for grace, along with the guidelines used for all sacred conversations at HUCC:

  • We will listen as we read to the content here and to other’s responses with respect, with discernment and without judgment.
  • Let us respond in love and caring for one another.
  • As we respond let us do so with “I” language to promote each person’s voice including our own.

Covenant overview

The Covenant HUCC adopted in the past that we are using still, is broken up into six parts plus an affirmation at the end. The first has this in bold lettering: With God’s help, we covenant with one another…to build one another up in love. The second part adds on to the first as do the others, is, …. to learn new ways of trust. The third is, … to find balance in our commitments. The fourth, …to improve our communication. The fifth, …to face conflicts openly and with respect. The sixth is, … to look honestly at our history so that wounds of the past may be healed and conflicts reconciled. The affirmation is, I am entering into this covenant freely and will strive to live it out as fully as I am able, with the help of God and the support of the community. Further, I will support others as they seek to do the same.

Breakout for seven weeks

Week One:         God’s Help

Week Two:         Trust

Week three:        Find Balance

Week four:          Improve Communication

Week five:           Face Conflicts

Week Six:            ReconciliationWeek Seven:       Affirmation  

Now we begin: 

Week One:  God’s Help

As we enter into our covenant our awareness goes to the understanding that we don’t do it alone. We ask for help and participation from God and each other.
Covenant after all is a communal agreement. It’s a relationship. According to scripture, from the beginning of the time of human contact with God, God has entered into covenant with us. Covenant is like a sacred promise. And so, we have decided together with God that:
-With God’s help, we covenant with one another…to build one another up in love.
-I will actively seek the beauty of God’s design in each individual who enters this community.
-I will look for and celebrate all that has been done well before criticizing what doesn’t suit me.
-I will walk with a congregation member in pain.
-I will celebrate with a congregation member who is experiencing a victory.
-I will continue to live out the Open and Affirming statement of Holladay UCC, celebrating rather than fearing the diversity of gender, age, race, ethnic origin, religious background, physical and mental ability, and sexual orientation that is the human race.
-I will continue to live out the Statement of Identity of Holladay UCC. I will commit to exploring what it means to be a Whole Earth church.
We affirm some of this in our opening welcome each week as we gather for worship. These things we say assume our belovedness and the true unconditional love and caring that we believe all creation deserves.
I invite us to explore the meaning of each of these statements and seek to know how we honor these within our community. 


Please ask whatever questions come up for you as you revisit the covenant you entered into as a member of HUCC.
I also invite us to reply to the question of how we come together to discuss our responses. We are open to doing Zoom Sacred conversations throughout the seven weeks.
Or just reply to: pastor@holladayucc.org. The replies sent will help to inform the next phase of exploring our move forward. 

Let our journey begin.
Pastor Marijke


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Faith Formation Calendar

Category : The Bell

Here’s how our faith formation calendar is shaping up for spring and summer. Check back in April for updates!

MARCH & APRIL 2020

Wednesday March 4, 6 p.m. – Soup supper and all-ages Harry Potter class.

March 5-7 – Pastor Chelsea is on vacation.

Sunday March 8, 11:15 a.m. – Second Sunday of Lent. Confirmation class in youth room; Rebellious Spirituality discussion group for ages 17-21 at 3 Cups.

Tuesday March 10, 7 p.m. – Confirmation field trip to the Sri Sri Radha Temple to Krishna in Salt Lake City.

Wednesday March 11, 1 p.m. – Transitional Faith Formation Team meeting.

Wednesday March 11, 6 p.m. – Soup supper and all-ages Harry Potter class; high school youth group from 7-8 p.m.

Thursday March 12, 4-6 p.m. – Pastor Chelsea available for drop-in visits at HUCC. Enter through the back door.

Saturday March 14 – Community benefit concert at HUCC.

Sunday March 15, 3 p.m. – Third Sunday of Lent. High school youth group ice skating and dinner in Cottonwood Heights.

Tuesday March 17 – Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Wednesday March 18, 6 p.m. – Soup supper and all-ages Harry Potter class; high school youth group from 7-8 p.m; Screening of documentary Screenagers: The Next Chapter at Rowland Hall at 6:30 p.m.

Thursday March 19, 4-6 p.m. – Pastor Chelsea available for drop-in visits at HUCC.

Thursday March 19, 6 p.m. – Operation Sandwich at HUCC.

Saturday March 21, 4:30 p.m. – Confirmation class with mentors.

Wednesday March 25, 6 p.m. – Soup supper and all-ages Harry Potter class.

Thursday March 26, 4-6 p.m. – Pastor Chelsea available for drop-in visits at HUCC.

Thursday March 26, 7-8 p.m. – High school youth group.

Saturday March 28 – National Youth Event “Bingo” fundraiser; whole congregation invited, bring friends and family to support our high school youth.

Sunday March 29 – Fifth Sunday of Lent. No Sunday School; all-grades service project during worship.

Tuesday March 31, 6 p.m. – Pastoral Relations Committee meets with Pastor Chelsea for feedback.

Wednesday April 1, 6 p.m. – Soup supper and all-ages Harry Potter class. April Fools!

Thursday April 2, 4-6 p.m. – Pastor Chelsea available for drop-in visits at HUCC.

Saturday April 4, 4:30 p.m. – Confirmation class.

April 5-12 – Holy Week! April 8 is the last Wednesday night soup supper.

Sunday April 12 – Easter Sunday; pancake breakfast youth fundraiser.

Thursday April 16 – Operation Sandwich with confirmation class; high school youth group dinner outing.

Sunday April 19 – Youth Worship for Earth Day; 11:15 a.m. Confirmation class.

Tuesday April 21, 5-7 p.m. – Sunday School teacher meeting; New member class at 7 p.m.

Sunday April 26 – Preschool Sunday.

MAY – AUGUST 2020

Sunday May 3, 11:15 a.m. – Confirmation class with mentors.

Sunday May 10 – Last day of Sunday School celebration; Happy Mother’s Day!

May 14-16 – OWL training at La Foret.

Sunday May 17 – Confirmation Sunday.

Monday May 25 – Memorial Day.

Sunday May 31 – New Member Sunday.

Sunday June 7 – Worship moved from HUCC to the Pride Parade!

June 8-13 – Family Promise shelter at HUCC.

Sunday June 21 – Happy Father’s Day!

June 22-25 – Middle school youth group mission trip to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab.

July 5-11 – Summer Camp at La Foret in Colorado; includes Voyager Camp for incoming and current middle schoolers!

July 12-18 – MADD Camp (Music, Art, Drama, Dance) for youth who will have completed grades 8-11, at La Foret in Colorado.

July 20-27 – UCC National Youth Event for current grades 8-12 (travel with the Rocky Mountain Conference from Denver to Indiana).

August 1-6 – “Camp Fellowship” middle school summer camp at Pinecliff Methodist Camp, organized by First Congregational Church.

August 2020 – Stay tuned for Camp Sunday!


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The Bell for March

Category : The Bell

You can download a PDF of the Bell faith formation newsletter for March 2020 here.


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Pastoral Search Update

Category : Transitions

The settled pastor search committee received further training from Rev. Erin Gilmore last week. All details from this point on are confidential except for updates on how the process is proceeding. All candidate profiles are submitted through the Rocky Mountain conference office and then are released to the search committee. There has been a great deal of interest in our HUCC position. The search committee is in the process of reviewing and evaluating pastoral candidate profiles for best fit for HUCC. Please keep us in your prayers as we embark on this important discernment process.


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