This morning, "Los reyes" (the kings) made some deliveries to my front porch, living into the tradition of gift-giving on January 6th, the Feast of Epiphany—commemorating the visit of the magi to the baby Jesus. Growing up in Argentina, my sister and I would put our shoes under the tree Epiphany eve in hopes that the magi would arrive in the night, delivering gifts.

And, on the outside doors to houses and congregations, people all over the world will be inscribing "20+C+M+B+21" (with the initials standing for the first names traditionally given to the magi—Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar) to chalk in a new year with a prayers for blessings and good health.

These traditions are heartening ways to make a fresh start with some joy and hope and a feeling that we are not alone.

I share a poem written yesterday by our colleague, the Rev. Dr. Robin Tanner, of Beacon UU Congregation in Summit:


It wasn't at a manger for God's sake.

Weeks later they came,
at first,
I rolled my eyes.
There had been so many visitors.
"Royalty is exhausting."

But these were wise ones
Crowns left tucked away in kingdoms, hair dressed with bits of hay,
robes and jewels exchanged for traveling shawls, sturdy sandals,
Declaring journey and something more...

My beleaguered body holding a half-savior who wasn't sleeping
a spouse still building our home
the endless bangs and booms just as sleep crested my eyes.

They did not kneel for pleasantries, wasted time,
instead one lifted the babe as I wept
One ushered me to bed while she opened an ointment easing the pain from cluster feeding
While yet another stilled my husband's hand...
I heard his voice husky from the desert winds
as the last baritone line
before a long slumber

"Be still, she sleeps now
the glory of the Love is upon you."

What hopes for 2021 might you "chalk on your door"?

How might you be a gift in these auspicious days, letting someone know that they are not alone?

Many things await us. May we meet the challenges and joys to come, together.

Happy New Year!

Rev. Craig
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January 10, 2021

How strong is our faith
with and without the 8th Principle?

Paula Cole Jones and UUCMC’s 8th Principle Task Force

Perhaps the strength of Unitarian Universalism can be measured in the true transformative power of our Principles. It is the seven principles of UU that bring us together. Momentum is growing around the country for the inclusion of an 8th Principle, which states: "We covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by building a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions."

Covenants can change a culture, holding the potential to transform relationships, communities, and institutions. The 8th Principle is our proposal to be in covenant with the Beloved Community. Join us to explore why we need it and why now?

Music by Louise Chernosky

A workshop led by Paula Cole Jones exploring all eight principles will be held Saturday, January 23, 10-noon.

Paula Cole Jones is a lifelong UU, a management consultant with over 20 years of experience in designing and facilitating workshops and dialogues for leaders and organization, and an innovator of institutional change. In 1999, she founded ADORE, A Dialogue On Race & Ethnicity. Paula is the author of a UU World magazine cover story, “Reconciliation as a Spiritual Discipline,”and the editor of a Skinner House book, Encounters: Poems about Race, Ethnicity, and Identity.
Thank you for your support of UUCMC as we bring our current situation into focus.