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I’ve traveled the long and sometimes dusty highways and byways of our beautiful continent this past month.  The journey from New York City to La Crescenta has been one that took some twenty years in ministerial aspiration and resulted in my coming to UUCVH as your called minister.

I’ve decided to develop a month-by-month approach to our shared ministry for this coming year.  Id like to start with RELATIONSHIP as the topic for September.  We will look at the many types of relationships that congregational life cultivates.

We can look to ourselves and how we relate within the context of the self as unique beings amongst the billions.  From there, we will venture into our church family and the relationships we have and share here.

Next, we delve into denominational life, activities, UU values, mores, structures and how they affect our individual journeys.

The Adult RE on Building Your Own Theology will kick off on the 20th before church and our engaging World Religions will begin on the 22nd in the evening.  Both of these are natural to UU identities, both of these enlist and engage our UU principles and purposes.

Lastly, I want to take us into a critical analysis of our relationship to La Cresenta, Glendale, LA County and beyond if we make it that far.  What do we ultimately desire for our congregation?  How shall we draw closer to the peoples, cultures, and diversity of this beautiful community.

So, here is a quote that says a lot about how I am operating-

Empathy is the starting point for creating a community and taking action. It's the impetus for creating change. -- Max Carver

And, here is a quote for activating our bodies, mind and spirit-

In our religious tradition, it is not just ministers and religious professionals who have power to bless. Each of us has to bless another, and to bless the world. Therefore I invite everyone here to participate in this blessing. The words are ordinary words, but we make the blessing real through our shared intention.

In closing, Id like to seek your help -- for in order to do this work together we need to develop a paradigm that is open.

We are constituted so that simple acts of kindness, such as giving to charity or expressing gratitude, have a positive effect on our long-term moods. The key to the happy life, it seems, is the good life: a life with sustained relationships, challenging work, and connections to community. -- Paul Bloom

Dear Friends, let our lives together begin in earnest and let the love guide us in all we do!

In faith,
Rev. Gordon

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