Minister’s Report to PrairieUU – March 9, 2020

AJ Blackwood, M.Div.

Prairie UU Church

“A Liberal Religious Light on the Prairie”

Mission: “We gather as a welcoming, caring community to nurture mind and spirit, celebrate diversity, and work for justice.”

Where We Are:

Providing a Safe Congregation. I want to assure you all once again that we are doing our best to be well informed and to keep you well informed about how we keep our community safe. I know that some of you are very worried about upcoming travel that you have planned, about meeting others in public locations for meetings, volunteering/working with the public, and even attending Sunday Service. I want to affirm that I recognize your concerns and that our leadership teams are working together to provide for not only your physical safety but also your emotional and spiritual safety. If you have a need in any of these areas, please reach out to me or members of our various teams.

Rest assured we have a talented leadership team and congregational membership. We have a team of former and current medical professionals who are helping us gather the most up to date information to keep us informed and pass the information on to you. Our communications team is working diligently to provide you with updated information and with a variety of means to provide access to information, meetings via google meet, and even Sunday Services via Facebook. We have a strong Caring Circle committee that is available to help with errands, provide meals, and more if you are in need.

Additionally, we know that some of you may be struggling with decisions as to whether or not to go work when you or your children aren’t feeling well because of a lack of medical coverage or loss of pay. I want to remind you that we do have a small Community Fund established to help for just these instances. If you need financial assistance please contact me or a member of the Committee on Shared Ministry.

This all said, if you would like to contribute to the Community Fund, it would be greatly appreciated. As we get further into this year we are foreseeing a possibility that members of our community may be in greater need than we have seen in the past. If you would like to make a contribution to the Community Fund, please do so through our usual channels or drop an extra check in the basket this week marked “Community Fund” in the offering plate this Sunday.

We are also asking that everyone be aware of their own health and health concerns. While we want all of you to be present with us in person, we ask that if you are not feeling well, that you use good judgment and stay home. Recognizing that there is no replacing being together in community in person, we are doing our best to include you in the life of PrairieUU virtually. We will be sharing our Sunday morning services on Facebook and access to most of our meetings are now available via google meet.

Where We Are Headed:

2020 and Beyond!

We are well underway with lots of planning for the future! Planning and programming for the 2020/2021 year are underway. The Core Team and LifeSpan committees are preparing by creating our monthly themes, services, and curriculum for Sunday Mornings and more. The Committee on Shared Ministry is looking forward to the continued redevelopment of our Associates and Visioning programs. The Board and Trustees and Finance Committee are bringing together a comprehensive financial plan and working on long term goals for the congregation. Our communications team is working on new ways to keep you informed, engaged and share our PrairieUU message with the larger Denver Metro area. Our Membership and Caring Circle teams are looking for ways to bring us together as a stronger, more vibrant, and growing community. I am working with several small groups to look into developing our small group ministries. This is an exciting time to be a member of PrairieUU.

If you are interested in learning more about where we are headed in 2020/2021, I want to invite you to our Stewardship Sunday Celebration on April 5th. Our theme this year will be: 2020 Vision, Planting Seeds for the Future. We will have an interactive Service that morning, games, and giveaways, catered lunch, and presentations about our future. Don’t miss out on being a part of our celebration of PrairieUU.

Room to Grow:

Communication Communication Communication! I would like to reiterate part of what I shared with you last month. If you do not feel that you are informed or getting enough information please let us know. We are always looking for more ways to connect with you and assist you with connecting with each other. Just as a brief reminder, we have the following communications avenues G-Suite, (if you have not set up your account and need assistance let Rhonda or I know), where you can find the most up to date information, and Facebook where you can join in the conversation and share your excitement about PrairieUU with friends. We send a weekly newsletter, so make sure you are on our mailing list. Over the next few days, you will also be receiving an invitation to Breeze, our new communications software, via your G-Suite account.

I continue to invite you all to give me your input, feedback, candor, and generosity of spirit, and I will return with the same. I am truly enjoying our shared ministry and life here at PrairieUU. I feel truly blessed to have this opportunity to spend this time with you. If anyone would like to meet and chat, I am here to serve and I look forward to our shared time together. Thank you for inviting me into both your community and lives.

AJ Blackwood, MinisterIn Service,

Pastor AJ