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We announced wonderful news on Easter Sunday.  ~  The Board of Trustees issued its Letter of Agreement to The Reverend Beth Williams on April 21, just in time for Beth to accept the position and for John Barr and Joan Hunt to tell the congregation that we have filled the position of Director of Religious Education after a 9-month national search.  Please see photo and letter from Beth Williams on the Religious Education page 4.

 Southern hospitality? After I met with the search committee of this church back in the early ‘80s –for those of you who were not born yet, that was the era of President Reagan, Hall & Oates, Michael Jackson, and Marvin Gaye--  I said to the chair of the search committee, “Thank you, for your southern hospitality.”  Gretchen Goodrich, without pause, said to me, “No, not southern hospitality.  Unitarian Universalist hospitality.”  I recount this story to remind us all how important it is to start off relationships well, that is, to extend a whole-hearted welcome to the new people who come our way.  As you greet Beth Williams, let us not miss an opportunity to thank those volunteers (child care workers and Chere Coen also) who have served us so well.  It’s time to re-engage ourselves in the RE program and the vital role our religious perspective plays in the lives of growing young women and men. 

THE Ten Commandments distraction ~ With some astonishment and annoyance I notice that at least one legislator wants to erect a Ten Commandments monument at the state capitol.  The private funding of such a monument does not untangle a first amendment constitutional issue.  Furthermore, which version of the Ten Commandments should be displayed?  The Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish version?  There are also translation and numbering differences.  I propose all ten be listed in Hebrew and then, in the same breath, call the whole thing off.  It is a big distraction –something akin to coveting, lying, and stealing.