Monthly Minister Column
Welcome – and thank you for your interest in exploring the possibility of making South Fraser Unitarian Congregation your spiritual community. Come join us for worship on Sunday afternoon or come participate in one of our community programs. In particular, in the spring of 2019, we are offering an adult sexuality program and a circle discussing reconciliation.
There are many things to know about being a Unitarian Universalist, and most of it comes in time. There are some things I’d like you to know up front though.
The first is that it takes work to be one – it truly is not for the light hearted! Most people think that once they walk through our doors, that that’s it – they have arrived and found some version of heaven on earth where they can believe what they want. They breathe a sigh of relief, make some connections and carry on as they did before. When in fact, what’s required is time to examine what you believe about creating meaning of life on this earth. It’s a faith that challenges each one of us to answer the difficult questions that arise through living in hard times. What does it mean to be saved as a UU? What does it mean to live in right relationship with the earth? What does it mean when we talk about inclusion and diversity in all of its forms?
This is a faith that challenges us to grow into the best versions of our capital S selves in this lifetime. And as each person grows, so do we grow as a faith. We are growing into what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist when we look at how we have created systems that privilege one class over another, one race over others. It is hard to look at this and not feel fear when the realization hits that all we have been taught and currently know is only one slice of what life is like on this earth. It takes courage and fortitude to look at our place in the interdependent web of life for when we do, with eyes that have been awakened, we see our own part in the one view that takes priority over others, and the damage, the hurt, the harm it has created.
We are a living tradition and that means we are constantly growing and evolving. We are just learning how to hold compassion in our hearts for not only those who are different from ourselves, but also for those who are like us. We are learning about liturgical generosity – which simply means that we are learning that each part of the service and what we offer as a whole may not be serving any one individual at a particular moment, but we show up anyway. We show up because we are learning that our presence may make the difference for someone else. That song we sing, or that reading that’s offered, or that program being offered may not meet our needs at this moment in time. And realizing that, we still show up knowing that it will change the life of someone else, that our smile may be the best thing in someone else’s life and will change the course of their day – and that’s worth it!
These are the things that I wish people knew about being a Unitarian Universalist. It’s hard work, and in the end, it brings a tremendous amount of growth, authenticity and integrity to who we are and what we support. It sustains my soul in the darkest of times by providing a community of love and support. It is a tradition I am proud to say that I belong to with my heart, mind and soul.
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 from Thursdays from 10 am to noon.
You can find her at:
- McBurney’s Coffee and Teahouse on January the 17th. McBurney’s is located at 20504 Fraser Highway in Langley
- Java Express on January the 24th and 31st. Java Express is located at 15090 North Bluff Road in White Rock.
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.