For news from the Board of Trustees, click here.

blackclergyuprising July 2017

On Tuesday, July 18, Black faith leaders from across the country met with representatives on Capitol Hill to urge them to vote against any budget that would threaten access to health care for millions. People of faith and moral courage, including many Unitarian Universalists (Rev. Abhi Janamanchi among them), joined together in solidarity with them, and some of them were arrested. Read more here.

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You may have likely heard already, but Cedar Lane member Rich Madaleno is running for Maryland governor. Rich formally launched his campaign on Monday, July 17th. Click to read.

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Farewell from Rev. Hillary Collins-Gilpatrick

Dear Cedar Laners,

You know the Talking Heads’ song, “Once in a Lifetime?” I’ve been singing it all month. It’s the perfect song for well, life, and all the expected and unexpected changes in it.

It has that one verse that goes:
“And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife,
and you may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?”

And then, that second verse:
“And you may tell yourself this is not my beautiful house!
And you may tell yourself this is not my beautiful wife!”

And that ever so, samsaric, cyclical refrain,
“Same as it ever was, Same as it ever was.”

I love “Once in a Lifetime.” To me, it’s a song that says “You never know what’s going to happen in life, but we keep on living anyway. Same as it ever was.” If you don’t know the song I encourage you to look it up and have a dance party as soon as possible. If you do know it, I bet you are already feeling compelled hit play and turn it up, aren’t you?

My last day at Cedar Lane will be July 7th, and I am unable to attend another Sunday worship service at this point. As I resigned from my position as Director of Lifespan RE at the cusp of summer, I knew that, with the impending vacations and weekend trips out of town you all would start taking, I likely wouldn’t be able to say goodbye in person to as many of you as I had hoped. I am sad about this, but, alas, in this mobile day an electronic age, I’m sure we’ll see each other again.

What is more important to me is offering you all great thanks, the kids especially.

Thank you for playing, for singing, for dancing, for praying, for breathing, for trying things out with me this year.  I am sorry to be leaving so abruptly, we never know what’s going to happen in life, but we keep on living anyway. Same as it ever was.

So, if you promise to keeping on living – and playing, singing, dancing, and breathing, I’ll promise to-do the same. And this can be our covenant with one another that will keep us connected and keep making the world a better place.

Yours in great thanks and dance parties.

See you soon,

Rev. Hillary 

Building the Movement Together: Reporting Back

This past January, we held a summit on social justice here at Cedar Lane. More than 70 folks attended, and we had an invigorating discussion. We thought about congregational social justice in a larger sense, issues that we personally felt called to, issues we felt Cedar Lane was called to, as well as our sense of what sorts of principles we thought should guide our work. The workshop was led by Rev. Rob Keithan, and his report may be found here.

In addition, we sent out a survey which was filled out by those in attendance at the summit but also through Cedar Lane’s eNews to include as many voices as possible. A total of 103 folks shared their thoughts, and here’s what you said.

There is still a great deal to do with respect to focusing our social justice efforts at Cedar Lane, but we have made great progress in this past year. In particular, we have some very focused work happening with immigrant justice and sanctuary as well as our match with a local refugee family to aid in their support. With the tremendous needs of our times, it is ever more crucial to bring our energies and focuses together for greater change. This is a challenge for Cedar Lane, but one that we believe we are ready for.

Katie Romano Griffin

Welcome to Catherine (Katie) Romano Griffin!

The Assistant Minister Search Team and Rev. Abhi are delighted to announce that the Board of Trustees unanimously approved Katie's appointment as our new Assistant Minister.  She will officially begin her ministry at Cedar Lane on August 1, 2017.

Katie hails from a multiracial, ethnically Latino/Italian family and credits her love of community building to the many people in her boisterous family that have loved her into being.  Katie is passionate about creating thriving multigenerational, multicultural communities and leverages her many skills from a previous career in consulting and marketing to coach teams into achieving this goal.   Her calm pastoral presence has been an asset in her work in churches, in the hospital setting, and also in her community where she serves as a volunteer trauma and disaster clergy team member.  Her previous work as a Lay Campus Minister and volunteer work as the Vice President of the Florida Gulf Coast University United Campus Ministries Chapter, honed her interfaith justice skills.  She is looking forward to applying all of her gifts at Cedar Lane.

Katie graduated on May 21st from Meadville Lombard Theological School and was co-ordained on June 4th by both her home congregation, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers and her internship congregation, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Charlotte County.  She is very much looking forward to meeting everyone and serving Cedar Lane.

Assistant Minister Search Team

Gail Riley, Chair, Resha Anderson, Betsy Binkes, Mary Farrar, Bob Harrison, and Tim Persons