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Our forest and our campus  ~According to a 7-page arborist report, more than a few trees on our campus are diseased or impaired, meaning we will need to remove and replant trees as we set in motion the plans for a re-designed lot for parking people and accessing our Peace Meadow. We have no design yet in hand –that design arrives after a landscape architect is hired. Last month, the Great Expectations Steering committee, a committee of the Board, completed initial interviews with landscape architects, all of whom wish to work with us and are drafting proposals. 

 These Four Sentences from columnist E.J. Dionne, writing in March, is a succinct and current summation of the American religious landscape.  He is a Catholic, a progressive, and a man of pitch-perfect analysis. He writes:  "Faith traditions can be so harsh that they drive away everyone but the self-righteous scolds. Or they can so indulge in therapeutic comfort and manufactured joy that they come to seem like a charlatan's game.  They can be so other worldly that they offer no guidance to those living in this one on matters of justice, freedom and how we should live together. Or they are so captive to the here-and-now that it becomes hard to distinguish between a congregation and a party headquarters."  Wow. I take the four sentences to heart, as all members should.  Can we be a congregation that helps people get a handle on life's practical problems, that combats structures of oppression, that gives people hope for a lifetime, that creates opportunities for the enjoyment of one another's company, and that can be a force for good, worthy of an enormous tax exemption?  I think we must endeavor to be all of these. 

 Our monthly healing serviceswill go on hiatus until fall.  Watch for the announcement.

 Counselors and clergy probably agree with poet T.S. Eliot's description as April being "the cruelest month."  Life springs forth, mates unite, the earth becomes warm again. But for those with a grief to bear, spring, on the outside, presents a stark contrast to disappointment, dismay, or depression on the inside. One might naturally think that the darkest time of the year is the season of most interior gloom, but mental health studies show that, in actuality, spring is the season during which one can feel especially isolated or depressed, especially if one does not have or does not perceive to have connection with others. If you are in emotional trouble or know someone in trouble, remember that you are part of a congregation with persons skilled in listening and understanding.

Please reach out and call on us.

 "Be joyful,"writes Wendell Berry, "though you have considered all the facts."


A Congregational Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, April 27 to approve a new set of Bylaws for our church and to elect a new Board of Trustees. Essentially, our day-to-day operation of the church will be entrusted to our ministry staff (and others not yet hired or brought into our various teams) for carrying out the ministries and administration of our church, while our policy governing Board will set policies, goals, direction, and provide oversight.  The congregational meeting on 4/27 makes the transitions official.