Fred’s Flavorings October 2018
My first Sunday with you I was deeply moved by the new member ceremony. The words were powerful, affirming, and gave a promise to one another.
I learned that these words were adapted from a piece written by Rev. Victoria Weinstein, who serves our sister congregation in Massachusetts. Here are the adapted words we used:
In the bonds of community, we unite
To cultivate a spirit of love and caring for one another,
To promote spiritual growth and ethical commitment,
To minister to each other’s needs and to those of humanity,
And to celebrate the sacred moments of life’s passages.
We welcome you as an equal member of this congregation, of this faith,
and of our shared spiritual journey.
The board of directors of MUUF have brought me on as Developmental Minister to assist us in reaching five goals. These goals are also found in this covenant made with each other and each new member and friend. True, they are written in more esoteric language but the outcome of these words of promise are the same.
We are declaring in these words to freely bond ourselves with one another as a community to accomplish certain objectives. We want to sow, to cultivate, to nurture, to grow, to reap a spirit of love and caring for one another. Gardeners among us know that to have a bountiful harvest takes daily attentiveness and patience. Our garden’s harvest is not of flowers or vegetables, but is the harvest of love, compassion, and care. To be able to share in the bounty of this harvest also takes daily attentiveness and patience.
We hope to do this through the promotion of right relations—listening from the heart before responding from the head, being generous in forgiveness when we falter, willingness to begin again with one another. We hope to do this through creating pathways of membership, avenues of finding connection and belonging, developing a sense of legacy building for future generations, learning how to live our Unitarian Universalist principles. We hope to do this through inviting others to join us by reaching out to other communities in our local region, working with other Unitarian Universalist congregations in our region to promote our shared vision, and being visible in promoting our mission.
In my first few weeks with you, I have observed that this is indeed a community that cares deeply for one another. I am looking forward to my time with you over these next five years to till the soil of Unitarian Universalism here and harvesting a wonderful crop of love, compassion, and caring.
The Committee on Ministry is composed of Al Usack, Randy McCrea and Sally Isham. The purpose of the COM is to work with the minister, Rev. Fred Hammond, and the congregation to measure our progress toward achieving the 5 goals taken from the congregational survey done in Fall 2017 and included in Rev. Hammond’s contract. See the poster in the social room which further describes the work of this committee.
Rev. Fred L Hammond joined our staff as a full-time Developmental Minister on September 1, 2018. He comes to us from 10 years as a settled minister at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Rev. Fred earned his Masters of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School In Chicago in 2007 and also his Masters of Science in Counselor Education from Western CT State University in Danbury CT in 1983 following his BA in English in 1980. Fred is experienced in organizational development and seeks to strengthen the Universalist Unitarian Faith through transformative programming, consultation and collaborative teamwork. He is skilled in leadership development, healthy Congregations, group behavior and dynamics, stress management, community building and is an experienced mediator and charismatic public speaker. Some of his social action accomplishments include the co-founding of the Tuscaloosa Economic Justice Coalition, Druid City Pride, Somos Tuskaloosa, Faith Leaders for Peace in San Diego and the interfaith AIDS Ministry of Greater Danbury, Danbury CT. He received a number of Proclamations of Achievement for his work in CT between 1993 and 2003 by the Danbury Mayor, Connecticut Governor and State Assembly and had Fred Hammond Day declared in 2002 for his 10 years of achievements.
When he has spare time he enjoys writing short stories, journal articles, his blog, photography, genealogy and long quiet walks.
Here are a few pictures from our meet and greet dinner with Rev. Fred in May 2018.
And Now it’s Official : Contract Signed!
September 2018 Committee on Ministry
The Committee on Ministry is comprised of Sally Isham, Randy McCrea, and Al Usack. The committee will work to figure out ways we can best be of service to our new minister and to the congregation.