When thinking about renewal in congregational contexts, we often consider the launch of our RE (Religious Education) programs, new ministries emerging, and being fresh off or our summer breaks. We are eager and excited to reconnect with our community and excited for the year ahead.
Take time for pause and exhale. Take time to appreciate the journey and where you have been as a congregation. Take time to express joy and take time to grieve and mourn. When we think about renewal, we must also hold space for the complexities associated with grief; a shadow side of growth.
While preparing messages for the upcoming weeks, consider intergenerational worship experiments that invite people to connect with each other, maybe even with less familiar faces. Invite people to connect with ministries and events in the congregation that will be a renewal for spirits. Invite people to step back and focus on healing and growth so that their cups can be overflowing. Invite people, individually and as a congregation, to renew their commitments to the UUA principles.
Renewal in this context is an active word, a verb. What does renewal look like in process? In the doing of justice making? In the embodiment of the congregational values.