I hope that the recent spell of good weather has helped to improved everyone’s sense of well-being just a little as we begin to enter the season of summer.
There’s quite a lot of non-regular (and, maybe, even moderately important and interesting) information in this message so it might be worth your while reading this one to the very end . . .
For the next two weeks, between Monday 7th June and Tuesday 22nd June inclusive, I’ll be taking some leave. I’ve very grateful to those who have come together to run/lead/participate in the services during this time, namely, Joy, Clare, Patrice, Andrew (Bethune) and Stephen (Watson). Thank you.
During that time if you have any church-related questions please be in touch by contacting either our chairman, Andrew Bethune, our secretary, Brendan Boyle or our treasurer, Stephen Watson. You can contact them via the website, just look for them in the dropdown boxes at the following link:
I’m very grateful to them all for holding the fort while I’m away. Thank you.
On Wednesday 23rd June when I return to work, as you already know from an earlier email sent out by Andrew Bethune (22nd May), we’ll be holding a Life of the Church congregational meeting to talk about what we hope to offer people in the way of Sunday services and midweek provision when we are able to reopen the church for face-to-face meetings. Here’s Andrew Bethune’s original note about this meeting:
Life of the Church Meeting — Wednesday 23 June — 7.30pm on Zoom
Please make a note in your diary for this event.
We’re hoping to reopen the church for services in the weeks ahead. Conscious of feedback from our Life of the Church meeting in December, and subsequent conversation over the ensuing months, the committee and minister have been working on a draft format for what we might be able to offer on Sundays and midweek. Fuller detail will be circulated in the next 2-3 weeks. We look forward to your thoughts.
On the following Wednesday (30th June, 7.15 for 7.30pm) I’ll be restarting our series of regular Wednesday Evening Zoom Conversations. As with our Sunday service provision, the way we used to do things seems to me clearly to be in need of some change. In a blogpost/podcast written and recorded during April 2021 called “Adopting the role of umpire and letting the role of player go . . .” <https://andrewjbrown.blogspot.com/2021/04/adopting-role-of-umpire-and-letting.html> I talked a little about what, from my perspective, I thought the fundamental change should be. It seems not inappropriate, therefore, that we might usefully restart our conversations by thinking and talking about some of the things that this piece contains. I’ll send a Zoom link out to you all in my regular email of Saturday 26th June but, in the meantime, you might like to reread that piece and jot down a few thoughts ready for the 30th June.
For those interested in reading my blog for this week and/or listening to the associated podcast please follow the usual links below my signature.
Just a quick reminder of the series of jazz piano trio concerts being held (deo, or perhaps, natura volonte) in the church on the first Monday of July, August and September. Tickets available at this link:
I have received a message and associated academic paper from Dr Silvia Falcetta in connection with some research about religious same-sex marriage that I, as your minister, helped them with. As she writes, out of the 22,500 places of worship in England and Wales that are currently registered for the solemnization of different-sex marriage, only 267 places of worship (approximately 1.2%) are currently also registered for the solemnization of same-sex marriage. I trust you are both happy and proud to be part of that 1.2%.
As always, if on reading this you decide you would like to join us for the Sunday morning service of mindful meditation and time of conversation following and do not have the necessary Zoom link then please either reply to this email or contact our Church Secretary, Brendan Boyle, via the contact page of our website. Just look through the dropdown tabs to find “Secretary”:
Please log in between 9.45 and 10am. The meditation starts at 10am sharp, and finishes at about 10.50. There will then be a short break to allow you to stretch your legs, compose your thoughts, or put the kettle on. The ‘Time for Conversation’ will start at about 11am, and if you aren’t taking part in the meditation, feel free to sign in during the break for the conversation.
To get the most from the meditation, you will find it helpful to either print out the order of service or display it in a second window. Here is the link:
Order of Service for the Mindful Meditation:
You might also wish to have a small candle or tea-light to hand to light at a certain point during the meditation.
A representative recorded version of the service is available for download via my podcast site here:
I’ve just recorded a very homespun introductory video to the Service of Mindful Meditation which you can watch here:
And lastly . . . As many of you know I consider myself to be a kind of Christian Atheist and so, not surprisingly, I’m always interested to hear stories about the many different ways this position can be arrived at & the many creative and positive forms it can take. Consequently, this beautiful & poignant ten-minute long film by Lance Edmands about Kenneth Copp, an Atheist Amish caught my attention. Highly recommended, at least by me . . .
With love and best wishes as always and I look forward to catching up with you all on my return.
Andrew James Brown
Cambridge Unitarian Church
07305 089 951 (Church Office)
07477 462 110 (Mobile)
Other stuff . . .
https://footprints.buzzsprout.com (Making Footprints Not Blueprints Podcast)