Tend the Spark, Carry the Flame

Keeping it All Going Behind the Scenes

By Jennifer Carver

As we wind down our pledge drive for the 2021-2022 fiscal year (and hopefully the COVID-19 pandemic as well), we want to give a SHOUT OUT to all the people who have gone above and beyond to make sure that our church and all individual members didn’t just survive but thrived during this year of the pandemic. These hardworking people include our UUCT Executive Board, our staff, key committees, such as finance and membership, and others who keep our facilities, Sunday services, and programs running. Their efforts, many of them behind-the-scenes, take place during what used to be “normal” times, and these staff and volunteers quickly refocused their efforts to work during the last year, to keep UUCT furthering its mission of inspiring all to seek freely, live ethically, and nurture each other and the Earth.

Our Executive Board members who have answered the call to serve the congregation as leaders during this time have continuously stepped up, working with our staff and other volunteers to rethink how we do church in a big way. Each board member focuses on areas of our church’s shared ministry, such as buildings and grounds, religious exploration, church community, membership, and others (see the most-recent UUCT Directory for a complete listing). Our board members have led us well over this year, and we appreciate their efforts.

Our staff, Rev. William, Music Director Angel De Armendi, Interim Music Director Li Kynvi, Director of Religious Exploration Helen Rivers, Office Administrator Adriane Pitt, and Sexton Les Campbell, have worked to inspire us, find new ways of nurturing our spirits, and keep the facilities and programs in shape in this pandemic isolation. While our nursery has been dark during this time, before the pandemic, our dedicated child care workers performed an essential function for the parents of small children among us.

Other key committees and groups of volunteers work tirelessly to keep UUCT running. The finance committee, budget coordinator, personnel committee, membership, and outreach volunteers connect us, keep the bills paid, and think about our future when we can return to our facilities and gather together in person. Our Sunday services have kept on keeping on with the help of our Worship Associates and tech support/audiovisual volunteers, offering vibrant and interactive Sunday services and social hour opportunities.

We had to seek new ways of achieving our vision of being a diverse community of communities, living our beliefs, embodying compassion and justice, growing and nurturing visionary leaders, gathering together to learn, grow, and play, and reaching out to all to actively expand our circle of caring. We have done this work this past year, though in adifferent way. We have stretched ourselves to see things differently, staying connected to and supporting each other.

We have tended our sparks and carried our flames this year, and we have been transformed. We will never be quite the same as we were before, and we will carry these experiences into our new ways of being together at UUCT — growing ourselves and our faith. All of us have a role to play as we keep our shared ministry growing.