In some climates, where seasons change, “April showers bring May flowers.” Reportedly, April, the name of the month, originally takes its name from the verb “to open,” as in the season when flowers and trees begin to open. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that April brings Earth Day, on the 22nd.

As we usher in the opening season, are we open to change? Do we encourage enough spiritual growth? Have you transformed lately? Do you value transformation? Rev. Riddell will be asking us to consider transformation this month in his Sunday messages: “Spiritual Poverty and the Possibility of Transformation” and “Earth Day and the Transformation of Hope.” What do we even mean by transformation? One definition, the dictionary, defines it as the act, process, or instance of change in composition, structure, outward form, appearance, character, or condition.

Remember that nationally, we—the current generations of UUs—are called to take an active hand in shaping our faith, by participating in the discussion and process to amend Article II of the UUA Bylaws. As you’ve no doubt heard, the General Assembly will decide in June whether to update the principles.

On transformation, instead of covenanting to affirm and promote the encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations, our new shared “value of transformation” recognizes and requires that we adapt to the changing world. It also asks that “[w]e covenant to collectively transform and grow spiritually and ethically. Openness to change is fundamental to our Unitarian and Universalist heritages, never complete and never perfect.”

Isn’t it inspirational? If adopted at General Assembly, we would become accountable to one another for doing the work of living our shared value of transformation through the spiritual discipline of Love.

Why not take a closer look for yourself? You can find the Article II proposed revisions at: Click this link for more information.

Remember that we must adapt to the ever changing world. Let’s ask what we can do this month to be open to all change, transformation, and growth—“never complete and never perfect.”

Who are your unsung heroes? UUCOD is fortunate to have many individuals who make sure “the trains run on time.” Let’s remember to acknowledge these folks and thank them for what they do.

This month, I’m thinking of, shouting out, and thanking Diane Carmony, Sheryl Eaton, Carol Lavoie, Diana Leslie, Frank Riela, and Claudia Simmons. If I missed you, please don’t hesitate to call me out!

If you have an idea, suggestion, comment, improvement, or criticism, please contact me or any Members of the Board and convey your thoughts. You can always bring ideas, thoughts, and concerns to the Voices of the Congregation forum during the next Board meeting.

Recall that this year’s Board meetings are hybrid online on Zoom and in-person in the Community Room. Come as you can! Our next regular meeting is April 16.

—Bob Rancourt

President’s Message Recent Posts

President’s Message: Along This Yellow Brick Road of Life

One nice part of the holiday season is the re-airing of classic films associated with the holidays. From Miracle on 34th Street, It’s A Wonderful Life, and Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, to Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Elf, these feel-good motion pictures can stir warm memories and remind us of our family, friends, and the hope and love in life.

Another one that popped up the other day is the all-time great The Wizard of Oz, the “most seen film in movie history.” It’s rich in many themes, but perhaps the transformation of the scarecrow, tin man, and lion is most prescient as we trudge along this yellow brick road of life.

Save the Dates! Church Is Back in Full Swing!

Mark your calendars! Perhaps it’s too generous or optimistic to say that it’s starting to cool a bit here in the desert, and many Members and Friends are beginning to return for the Coachella Valley’s anticipated cooler months. We’ve had our ingathering and it’s time to get church things done.

President’s Message for October 1, 2023

Your 2023 – 2024 Board has now met several times and we are off and running. With an orientation, two Regular Meetings, and a Retreat under our belt, we have discussed and approved many items of business, including our short-range fiscal year goals and longer term, three-year strategic goals.  These goals and plans remind me of a former minister who once preached about the importance of setting our boats right. The Board has set its boat right! Read more to find a listing of the goals we approved at our retreat.