Monthly Minister Column
Telling Our Stories
Some time ago I had the opportunity to attend a workshop entitled “The Village.” It was a day-long workshop that took us back in time to experience village life pre-contact with us settlers. We started off in the Big House on a cold and frosty morning – I noticed snow up on the mountains. We were warned to bring blankets and to dress warmly, and many of us didn’t take the warning seriously enough. Even with a big fire burning, thanks to the Keeper of the Fire, it was plenty cold with many of us trying to stay warm, standing by the fire, rotating our bodies to and from the fire.
It was easy for me to put myself into a world without lights, without electricity, without forms of heat that come with an “on” or “off” button, or even a thermostat. I like to think that life was simpler then; that those who gathered around the fire honored the cycles of the earth in ways. I become particularly aware of this at just this time of the year when the daylight hours become shorter and shorter leading up solstice, the shortest day of the year.
How frightening that must have been for our early ancestors, the hunter-gatherers with caves, and later on structures very similar to the current day long houses. In my imagination I see children, parents, aunties, uncles, elders, hunters, gatherers, warriors – everyone around the fire during these cold wet days. In my mind’s eye, I see a community gathering together taking time to rest, rejuvenate, sleep and most of all tell stories by the fire.
The telling of the stories of who we are, where we come from, and where we are going are mythic stories and ones that we all have in our families. This year, as the days shorten, the nights are long, the weather turns frightful, I hope you spend time with your loved ones, sharing food, company, and good cheer – telling the stories that matter – the ones that come from the heart of who we are and what we aspire to be in the world.
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.