President’s Message for May

Embracing Possibilities
Reflections from the President
“Embracing Possibilities” is the theme of our Stewardship Campaign and these two words offer us the opportunity for reflection, visioning and action. We are coming together in person and on line with new friends/members and long-timers, all of whom have ideas about what lies before us. I am hoping that the months ahead will give us many opportunities to not only worship together but to exchange ideas and consider our future as a caring religious community. More than 20 of us gathered on April 10th for a community conversation about social and environmental action at All Souls Church. We began with those present sharing their passions which include:
• Food Issues – Supporting local community gardens, perhaps a community greenhouse, and school vacation lunches
• Climate & Environmental Concerns – What can we do collectively? How might we live out the 7th Principle and express EarthLove and our connection to the natural world? It was noted that environmental concerns connect to all the other issues we may address.
• Compassionate Brattleboro and Braver Angels – Taking actions that promote justice, equity, and respect and finding ways to bring people together as a caring community, bridging and healing divisions
• Racial Justice – Working towards equitable opportunities and outcomes for all, building on our previous studies of white privilege

We next identified approaches to action. How might we work together on critical issues?
The following ideas were presented:
• Creation of small teams that lead specific projects
• Identifying short-term actions, seasonal projects, and longer-term endeavors
• Development of a strategic plan with prioritization of our social action – making sure our efforts make sense with a “return on investment” of time and energy
• Recognizing and fostering the spiritual connection in social and environmental action
• Taking steps to move away from fossil fuels
• Connecting to spirit and nature – creating a labyrinth and walking paths
• Making sure we are truly a “Welcoming Congregation” and “Green Sanctuary” with constant reassessment and action so that we are living these ideals

All Souls Church has a long history of social and environmental action. We can explore this history and organize ourselves so we continue to take action. We know that there is more to do and that there is a role for each of us. We will gather again for conversation and planning but if you have ideas on both activities and structure please contact Rev. Telos or me.
With blessings, Leslie