February 6, 2024- Halfway there!

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We are now officially past the halfway point of the winter season. Last Friday, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, and the Pennsylvanians rejoiced in the prediction of an early spring. While I’m inclined to check the “not applicable” box for its significance to Northern Vermont, a milestone is a milestone. We’re halfway to the equinox, enjoying more light each day than the day before, and the sun has even made a rare appearance this week, lifting spirits even as we shield our eyes from the brightness.

What a wonderful earthly tie-in to the scene that awaits us this weekend. On this last Sunday before the season of Lent, we are led to the mount for the transfiguration, where Jesus appears blindingly bright as he stands amidst the prophets. This fleeting glimpse of glory gives the disciples and early Christians something to cling to as they walk the lonesome valleys that follow: times of doubt, suffering, or of less-than-clear vision. On the mountaintop—physical or metaphorical—some things are just more easily seen and believed. So we’ll accept the invitation to ascend and see what God reveals.

In addition to seasonal and liturgical transitions, we are also going through our annual reset of ministry teams. We had a great discussion at last evening’s all-ministry meeting, especially around the ways we seek to invite, welcome, and connect the community to the church. With our ears and hearts attuned in this direction, we are bound to have a meaningful year of ministry. Thank you for your contributions!

Few ministry teams were present in full at Monday’s meeting, which means there is still work to do in terms of setting up meeting schedules and identifying roles for the year. If you are serving on a ministry, please ensure that the group gets together before the end of February to make a plan. See Will Wright’s email for instructions on relaying that information back to the proper channels.

Finally, there are several dates to note for upcoming activities, services, studies, and mission opportunities. Please read today’s e-update in full and think about one way you might share an invitation with a friend or neighbor. Family Valentines night (Feb. 9), Ash Wednesday worship (Feb. 14), summer camp scholarships, or a letter-writing campaign for immigrant rights may be a meaningful place of connection. If you are reading this and not yet signed up for our e-update, email secretary@ucu.church to be added to the list.

With hope,

Pastor Jen