Pastor - Michele Townsend Grove
Michele Townsend Grove, our half-time minister, is a Unitarian Universalist religious educator who has expanded her portfolio to include worship and congregational leadership. Michele moved to Galena in 2021 with her family and found the Unitarian Universalist Church of Stockton through the reference of a dear friend. Michele has worked in United Methodist and Unitarian Universalist churches for more than 30 years including congregations in Delaware, Washington, Maryland, West Virginia, New Jersey and Illinois.
Michele is married to Andy Townsend, a retired dentist who is currently working to restore several properties in Illinois and West Virginia. Michele and Andy have a daughter who is a sophomore at Galena High School.
When Michele is not working with the UU Stockton congregation she is consulting with other Unitarian Universalist congregations, teaching courses in transitional leadership, gardening and playing games with her family. Michele also admits to being a big fan of Marvel movies and Star Trek.
If you would like to reach out to Michele, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Michele looks forward to getting to know you!
March 1, 2024
This week, I have been practicing laughter.
As I have been preparing for this week’s worship service on humor and laughter, I have been practicing. Laughing does not always come naturally. And yet, when I have let go of all my inhibitions, it is a joyful act!
On the surface, the theme of this week’s worship service may seem trivial. But laughter is far from trivial. Many medical professionals have researched and recorded the affects of long-term stress on our bodies and communities. Stress is a natural part of the human existence, but it is supposed to be short term. More and more people are living with the symptoms of continued stress which takes a toll on our physical, emotional and mental health. Our hearts are under more pressure to function in adverse conditions. We do not get the rest and nutrition we need to thrive. And we do not laugh enough. In this service, we will explore laughter to elevate our individual and communal stress. And in doing so, we will live into joy!
On Sunday, March 3rd, we will laugh together. It is not too late to send a joke or humorous story to Michele (email@example.com). She needs it by the end of Friday, March 1, 2024.
Take care dear ones,