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Welcome to autumn, beloved community!

As we begin to turn from summer into this new autumnal equinox, I find myself filled with thanks for all that Evergreen has set its sights on accomplishing in this new church year….

On September 11 we celebrated our first Ingathering back in the sanctuary since the outbreak of COVID in March 2020. Your worship team and I enjoyed collaborating on this significant occasion very much and we continue to create fresh ideas for our worship services well into fall and winter. My sermon, “Let the River Run,” set a vision for supporting one another through the transitions Evergreen will be going through as our physical home is put up for sale. My central metaphor for this year’s Ingathering Water Service was how we can each help release Evergreen’s river of life and consciousness once again now that the threat of COVID shutdowns and deadly outbreaks is passing behind us. I do hope you’ll take 20 minutes to enjoy it. It’s available for you here, whenever you may need a bit of spiritual reflection on the new directions Evergreen is heading in.

After our Ingathering Water Service, your Search Committee and Board of Trustees members hosted a heartwarming Meet the Minister event in the Parker Room – our first in person gathering since the outbreak. There were many members who came to the church and others who enjoyed our shorter online social hour. For those who were able to join in person there were delicious rewards of fresh homemade pies and ice cream. It was a delicious gathering for the soul, and a warm welcome for me as your new minister. I’m still relishing the in-person fellowship and conversations we all enjoyed with windows open, fans gently blowing fresh air, and all of us wearing masks. It was as if Evergreen's beloved Sanctuary was breathing with excitement and life once again….

Ingathering was a fitting celebration not just for September’s liturgical theme of Belonging, but also for October’s theme of Courage. In October, we’ll courageously explore several perspectives on the role courage plays as we serve social justice, equity, and liberation in our communities. Our Religious Educator, JW Wenzel, will deliver the first sermon of the month, focusing on the religious education program’s formational projects our youth and families will enjoy using the imaginative “Superhero Academy” curriculum. It’ll enlighten young and old alike as to how our UU Principles and values serve the most heroic moments in our lives, and sustain us through the more villainous moments that play out in the world. I do hope you and yours will join in the adventure! Contact JW for more details and to learn how to enroll.

Finally, beloveds, with inspiration still stirring in my soul from Sunday’s poetry service, and as we now move through autumn’s equinox with its equal parts of day and night, I share this poem from one of my favorite poets:

The Journey By David Whyte

Above the mountains the geese turn into the light again Painting their black silhouettes on an open sky. Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that small, bright and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart. Sometimes with the bones of the black sticks left when the fire has gone out someone has written something new in the ashes of your life. You are not leaving you are arriving.

Welcome to our autumn journey, beloved Evergreen,


Rev. Joe

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