Monthly Minister Column
The Power of a Question
Oh, my goodness! I love a great question – and I think we as Unitarian Universalists love them as well! As many of you know, I was a youth advisor at the North Shore Unitarian Church for many years. One year, the youth group invited youth groups from different faith traditions to join us for an evening. We’d play games to break the ice between the two groups, eat dinner together, and then engage in a practice called a fishbowl. Each group would spend some time thinking about three conversations or questions they’d love to be a fly on the wall listening to the other group have.
Once each group was ready, we’d set up one group in a circle around the other group sitting in the middle. The group in the middle would then have the three conversations posed by the group sitting in the outer circle. After a period of time, we’d then switch places with the group that was sitting in the outside circle moving into the center, and those that were sitting in the center answering the questions, moving to the outer circle, to listen to the group in the center discuss the questions given to them.
I can remember one youth group coming in and at the end of the session, telling the Unitarian Universalist youth group that they would pray for them to find the answers to the questions they had. Our youth group responded with – but then we’d have more questions.
This month, we’ll be having our annual Question Box service. This is your turn to ask your questions about Unitarian Universalism, our congregation, or any other question you think is worthy of scooping worth out of. Please submit your questions to Rev. Samaya via email – [email protected] – by Wednesday, May 22nd. She’ll group them together and try to answer as many as she can during the service on Sunday the 26th.
Why I Come to Church?
Do you feel passionate about coming to church and want to share a brief message with everyone in the community about it? Starting in October, we’ll be adding a new element to our Sunday services where you can share a brief (2-300-word maximum) message about why you come to church. Please contact Rev. Samaya if you have questions, would like to sign up, or would like more information.
When to Call the Minister
Many people wonder when it’s appropriate to call the minister to deal with pastoral care concerns, particularly with such an active caring community such as SFUC and with a three-quarter-time minister. Samaya is available to meet with you in times of difficulty for pastoral guidance visits at a coffee shop, at a hospital, or in your home. Her visit with you would typically be for short-term sessions of listening, support, and spiritual guidance. If longer-term conversations are needed, she would be happy to refer you to someone with skills in the area needing assistance. For more information please contact us.
Services Available from Your Minister
Child blessings, dedications, coming of age celebrations, saging rituals, home blessings, pet blessings, renewal of vows – all of these things share a common element: services available from your minister. If you’re interested in any one of these rites of passages, please feel free to contact Rev. Samaya.
What to Expect from Your Minister
As part of the ongoing information about what you can expect from our minister, please know that when you visit our minister for pastoral conversations, you can expect that your conversation will be held in confidence. What you share will not be shared with any other person without your express permission. Our minister will encourage direct communication to resolve issues you have with other people.
Samaya’s Office Hours:
Rev. Samaya’s office hours are for those of you who are in the area and can drop by and visit with her about what’s on your heart or mind. Office hours are held on Thursdays from 10 am to noon. Here’s where you can find her over the next couple of weeks:
- On Thursday, June 6th you can find her at Java Express, located at 15090 North Bluff Road in White Rock.
- On Thursday, June 13th she’ll be at McBurney’s Coffee and Teahouse. McBurney’s is located at 20504 Fraser Highway in Langley.
If these times don’t work for you and you’d like to arrange for a one-on-one in-home visit, please contact her to set up a time. She sets aside Tuesday mornings typically for one-on-one in-home visits, but other times are available depending on schedules. Please feel free to call her at 604-323-4341.
Rev. Samaya will be away from Sunday, June 16th through to Saturday the 22nd to attend the UU Ministers’ Association’s Ministry Days, three days of professional development for UU ministers, followed by four days at the UUA’s General Assembly in Spokane, WA. As usual, she is available in the case of emergencies and she will answer emails sporadically throughout the week.
As Rev. Samaya is our three-quarter time minister, she is available to take your calls on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 10 am to 4 pm, as well as on Tuesday evenings to 9 pm. Emails will be responded to within 72 hours. If you need a response in less time than that, or in cases of emergencies, please feel free to call her.