Welcome New Members and Community Connections                                                                                                                                          
     Community Connections heartily welcomes MVUU New Members:
Ginger Kersenbrock, Blanche Tyson, Ann Marie Marshall, Emily Ricketts, Mary Dupuis, Gene McEdward, Laura McMelley, Vince Pawlowski and Jan Anderson.
     The Community Connections Committee used to be Membership. But Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion, questioning and evolving in our free and responsible search for truth and meaning. In that spirit, we who started the year as the Membership Committee, asked if in truth, the word Membership captured our mission and for that matter What is our mission? What do we do? What is our meaning?
     Greeting you all every Sunday is what we do. This is given shape by Peter Becskehazy and brought to life by many greeters and welcomers. Michelle Vedus-Deeney and Jane Paul bring us together through Cholla Chowtime. We connect through small group ministry or Finding Heart Groups. Reverend Samantha and I are focusing on rebooting this with sessions to come in the Fall of 2020 and Spring 2021. And Elizabeth Van Horn brings us Tucson Art Tours. We are also helping new members and friends become oriented and find their place here at MVUU.
     What we do led to our mission: Fostering the Connections that make MVUU a Loving Community.
     And so we shed the old name, Membership and assumed a new one– Community Connections.
     Build it and they will come.
     Us seasoned members and friends came. We found something here, a community, not so much a building, built by others. We found Welcome, Care and Inspiration: a place to work, a place to grow, a place to be, to be uplifted, to be challenged, a place to breathe, to laugh and to cry. We found 7 principles, a book club, friends and partners. Someone else built, we came and here we are.
     Where we had the energy, we continued the building, serving coffee, serving services (and then practices), and (my favorite) serving on committees, some served on the board. We served our families, our Tucson and World communities and some served music. We gave our time, our talents and our money to build this community. And it gave back. MVUU was built and so too were we.
     For many, membership is important, it is a naming (a MVUUian or MVUUite?) and naming is important. It is something we intentionally ask for. This naming calls us to do, to show up and to risk getting connected in a way where MVUU actually depends on us. We become interdependent. Membership calls us to sustain this community with meaningful resources that allow us and MVUU to continue transforming: transforming us, transforming MVUU and transforming our world.
     I am so glad I’ve gotten to know the new members joining us today and next Sunday. They are already contributing to building it– financially, serving coffee, greeting us, getting ready to serve us in our services (or practices), signing up for UU leadership courses, working for social and environmental justice, showing up. I am also proud to be a part of MVUU and what we’ve built that made them come and feel welcome, trust in our care and be inspired.
     When I was in Stewardship my question was, “What is not Stewardship?” Now my question is “What is not Community Connections?” If you have ideas please let us know. And continue helping us build more and better connections.
     Thank you, and again Welcome New Members!!!
     Tom Bunch, Community Connections Chair