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March 2019 Temporarily Yours by The Reverend Beth Miller

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I’ve noticed that my southern accent is beginning to come back. Those of you who were in church on January 27 know that I grew up in a small town in Central Florida in the 50s and 60s. I’ve been many places since then, including in recent years, the East Coast of Florida with its many retirees from throughout the US and Canada. There is no one accent there.  But Central Florida when I was growing up was the old south with a distinct accent.  I was born in Syracuse, NY and my parents never developed an accent, but I did. I never tried to get rid of it. It just gradually faded away. For years, when I would visit, it would come back. And in fact, my speech took on aspects of the speech patterns that surrounded me in the places I lived for long periods of time. That my southern accent is coming back now tells me that I feel pretty settled here, and that feels good.

Having now met with the Board and most of the committees and teams in the church, and weekly with the staff, I am very impressed with the health and vitality of UCBR. Your lay leaders and staff are very competent and deeply committed to serving this congregation’s best interests through this transition. It’s a pleasure to serve with them for these few months prior to the beginning of the official interim period when The Reverend Joel Miller arrives.

I’ve also begun participating in Together Baton Rouge, the coalition of interfaith congregations and community-based organizations that addresses social concerns at the local level. UCBR has been a very active member and leader of TBR for many years. Right now there is a call for our members to attend the annual Delegates Assembly, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. on March 12. See details elsewhere in this newsletter and contact David Lindenfeld (hylind@lsu.edu)or sign up in the Fellowship Hall at church. Getting large numbers out is one of the ways TBR shows its strength to impact the community. You’ll learn a lot about TBR’s work and meet great people from throughout Baton Rouge.