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Credit: Ellen Rockett – UU Media Collaborative


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  Appreciation & Beauty     rabbi chava

“Gratitude is the quality of being thankful and showing appreciation. It is a mindful acknowledgment of all that we have been given. When we focus on the abundance in our lives, we discover a greater capacity for generosity, cheerfulness, and contentment. Expressing gratitude is a rewarding habit that affirms the grace of the giver. Gratitude opens our hearts, encourages us to savor each gift that comes our way, and magically frees us from jealously guarding our possessions. It lets us celebrate today rather than waiting for the next level of accomplishment or wealth. It is a reminder that one can always find reason to be glad.” – Wisdom Commons

Friends, in April and May we will explore the themes of appreciation and beauty in our Sunday services.  How fitting to move from Stewardship to gratitude and appreciation.  Let me express my heartfelt thanks to the Stew Crew (the Stewardship Committee) under Judy Myers leadership, for shepherding us through the process this year with joy, caring and candor.  Thank you to our members and friends who help make the vision for the congregation real with your very generous pledges.

How wonderful to have time to contemplate beauty as our Facilities team has freshened up the hallways and the Arts and Exhibition Committee is bringing things alive with art and creativity on those same walls. Things are looking and feeling great inside and outside the building!

I also want to express my deep appreciation for our staff: Linda, Nancy, Sarah, Leslie and Krystal – for the myriad things these amazing women do week in and week out: things that are often unseen but that make such a difference in our lives.  They are always willing to go the extra mile to enhance our experience of UUCGT.

And here I must pause to share with you the news that our beloved Office Administrator, Linda Martin, has announced her retirement as of June.  Linda has been a joy to work with these past seven months, and her warmth, expertise and care for this congregation will be missed.  Do please join us at the service on Sunday, June 7 to wish Linda farewell and thank her for her service to this community.

This is also a good time to express deep thanks to our board of directors.  A more amazing leadership was never to be had than this wonderful group of people who, like the staff, do a great deal of invisible and invaluable work to ensure that the congregation is running smoothly.  We wish to especially thank Sally Mitchell, who is stepping down from the board, for her devoted service. Sally’s experience and wit have been a wonderful component to the board meetings. We are deeply grateful that Mike McDonald will be coming on to the board for the remainder of Sally’s term.  How fortunate are we!

Finally, friends, I want to express a personal appreciation for those of you who have come to see me for pastoral counseling. It is a privilege to share your joys and sorrows, to walk with you on this journey.  Pastoral Counseling is a quiet time to sit together to reflect and consider, to have our inner process mirrored back to us lovingly.  I welcome you.

So friends, in appreciation, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Thank you for your patience as I learn how to navigate the UU ropes and find my way into this position.  My imperfections are before me often, and you have been so very kind as we build together.

Rabbi Chava Bahle

The Common Heart: Spiritual Paradigm Shift; Rabbi Chava Bahle at TEDxTraverseCity 2014

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Grand Traverse
6726 Center Rd.
Traverse City, MI 49686
231-947-3117 (office) 231-947-0726 (fax)