Reverend Roger Butts, Contract Minister
PULPIT/SERVICE update: I’ll be at the picnic on July 24, speaking on the spirituality of summer. Paul’s band will be playing. July 31st, at UCC Parker Hilltop, at 10 a.m., Pastor Olive and I will be speaking on “What Makes a Faith Progressive, or Unity”. We have worked on the order of service and it will be a fine service, very fine. On August 7, Professor Jeff Scholes and I will be offering up a service on Christian Nationalism. Jeff is Chair, of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. On August 21, I will be sharing the pulpit with Andre Hoillette, a Denver poet, born in Jamaica. Nominated for the PushCart Prize.
Susan Ermisch has agreed to be the Lay Leader for CORE TEAM. She will be Core Team Chair until December of this year, at which point we can reevaluate and plan ahead.
Please note: Eric Moon has written to say that his heart is not into being a music director. He is kind of more comfortable in other roles, as opposed to being a director. And he feels like he has brought us to a good place around stability and so on. I hope we can all thank him so much for his remarkable service even in the midst of COVID.
I want you to know that I have secured the services of Candace Woods, a remarkable worship leader and singer. She will provide hymns/sing-alongs/chants and special music on the following Sundays: September 11, 25; October 9 and 23; November 6 and 20; and December 11. She will rock the house. While Candace is available on my Sundays, Paul Ermisch, Xander Kelty, and Eric Moon are making themselves available for lay-led Sundays. There will be good options. And a musician I’ve brought to Prairie before: Sarah Correa Groh is also interested in potentially providing one or two musical slots. We will ensure that we have good musical options whether I’m in the pulpit or not. I urge Prairie and its leadership to not rush into finding a music director formally. Eric is willing to help us out even throughout the end of this year, and Candace is in place. Let’s enter into a real period of prayerful discernment about this role.
ADULT EDUCATION/FAITH FORMATION. August 25-September 22, every Thursday, 7-8 p.m. at BOOKS ARE AWESOME, Parker CO, we will have a class based on the books, Essential Spirituality and How Democracies Die. For the first three Thursdays, we will focus on Essential Spirituality. For the last two we will focus on How Democracies Die. 12 max. Free. We are doing this with our progressive friends at Parker Hilltop. We request that all books be purchased through BOOKS ARE AWESOME.
PERSONNEL. At Crystal Blue’s request, a few board members and the RE advocate, Calisse Weidner, are looking at some adjustments to the LifeSpan Coordinator position. It will take some time. Thanks to Janet, Brenda, and Calisse for doing this important work.
PASTORAL CARE. Tom Nicholson died earlier this month. I have been in touch pastorally with Sandy Nicholson, and more importantly, your care team has been a source of great comfort to her over the last few years. Thanks to Susan Reardon, Dave L, Michael Meads, and Lara Heisler for the care. She says that the care team made her feel very connected to Prairie. Wednesday, July 27, 2-5 p.m. I will be officiating at the celebration of life at Lone Tree Golf Club.
On August 20, I will be traveling to Texas to officiate at the funeral of Virginia Rodman’s brother.
Tracking My Schedule. I will be in Texas on August 20.
August 22-26, I will be in Montgomery, Alabama for UUA-required interim/transitional ministry.
September 16-22, I will be in North Carolina and unreachable. I will also be back there from December 16-22.
FINANCE: We have good reason to be proud of the fact that somehow about $39,000 was carried over from last year to this year. Certainly will help. The worrisome part is this: Compared to 20-21, pledge income for 21-22 was about 30 percent lower. You have a realistic budget for this year, so I am not sounding the alarm that we are on a bad path, but it is just something to be very aware of.
SOCIAL JUSTICE. I am so pleased you all have received a JEDI grant from the UU Funding Program. I have not yet looked into the specifics of what we have agreed to do, but this will be a very fine way to spend our year.
COSM. I recently had a thirty-minute conversation with the two still duly elected members of the Committee on Social Ministry. It was productive and I am hopeful that over time we may start having regular, ongoing meetings.
ADMIN. I believe the team hiring the new administrator is close to making an offer. We look forward to having a new administrator in place soon.
I have enjoyed working with the exec team over the last few weeks. There is a lot of wisdom here. I know we will have a good year together come what may.
I believe you all can grow in wisdom and spirit of course and also in numbers. I think there are so many newcomers in Douglas County, we could be on the cusp of big things. I am concerned that you will never really be able to grow in that library space. It is a real challenge. I encourage all of you to consider some viable options and I know Kyra and Brenda are contemplating some viable options, even now.
Speaking of transitional work. Some questions for you to play around with. Just for fun!
Imagine Prairie UU as a person. How would you describe that person?
- Which gender? Female, male, non-binary?
- About how old?
- What do he/she/they look like? General appearance, style, clothes?)
- What does he/she/they do? (Occupation? Hobbies? Lifestyle?)
- What is his/her/their state of health? Fitness?
- What is his/her/their life setting or situation? (Recent events, new challenges, opportunities, etc
- What is her/his/their favorite thing to watch or listen to like a streaming show/youtube/radio station, etc?
- What is his/her/their favorite food?
In faith and in hope and in love, Respectfully submitted, Roger