At the service on March 27th, the Transition Team was pleased to announce that we have a ministerial candidate to present to the congregation! She is the Reverend Armida Alexander.
Some of you may be saying that name sure sounds familiar. Rev. Alexander served as an interim minister at our church in 2003-2004, and those of us on the Team who knew her then, are pleased to say she hasn’t lost her touch! We are proposing to hire her as a half-time contract minister, with an initial one-year contract beginning this September. We would expect to renew her contract as appropriate on an annual basis with approval of the Board of Trustees.
Armida visited with us over the weekend of March 6th and we all got to know her better. That Sunday, she preached at the neutral pulpit of the Dubuque UU Fellowship and we, along with the Dubuque congregation, were very impressed.
Please join us in welcoming Rev. Alexander on Saturday, April 23rd for a potluck supper and then come to hear her service the following Sunday, April 24th. Immediately following that service, there will be a congregation vote to confirm her as our minister. We are very excited to offer you a candidate of such high quality! Please be sure to join us in welcoming her on Saturday, April 23rd and giving her a positive, affirmative vote after service on April 24th.
Please feel free to contact any one of us if you have any questions or comments and please see the article about Rev. Alexander’s education and work history later in this newsletter.
Your Ministerial Transition Team,
Randy Downing, Alice Ericksen, Mark Haman, Rich Mattas, Nancy Schuldt
It is with great joy that we recognize the landmark Supreme Court decision to affirm marriage equality across all 50 states. For two generations now, the Unitarian Universalist Association has publicly affirmed the equal rights and dignity of our LGBT neighbors and friends. In private, our congregations have been recognizing gay and same sex weddings in our sanctuaries for even longer than that. As a faith that is united not by any one idea about God or the afterlife, but rather by the overarching responsibility we all have to serve the power of love in the here and now, we are overjoyed with the Supreme Court decision that confirms our long-held belief that legal marriage is a basic right guaranteed by our Constitution.
The legal and economic implications of marriage are astronomical, and so too is the public affirmation of commitment and love as recognized in a wedding ceremony. We again applaud the Supreme Court for making this most basic of human institutions open to all and we look forward to doing our part to ensure that every couple who wishes to be married in a beautiful sanctuary dedicated to love may continue to do so.
In recognition of this historic moment in the history of our nation, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Stockton will extend our offer of free weddings to any same sex couple who wishes to be married in our sanctuary through the end of June, 2016.
Our own Rev. Carlson along with Pastor Brenda Morris represented the Stockton Ministerial Association at the annual meeting of the Jo Daviess County Country Fair Charities which awarded the SMA a $1500 grant to start the emergency Temporary Housing Voucher program. The program will allow congregations and the Stockton Police Department to purchase rooms at a reduced rate to provide emergency housing to community members in need.
In the 12 years the JDCCFC has existed, it has raised over $800,000 for Jo Daviess County government and non-profit groups, and will hold its next fair at Grant Park in Galena on October 10th & 11th, 2015.
We arrived in Selma, AL Sunday morning. What a day!! We found a parking space in the downtown area (it was a miracle to find that space.) We walked the dogs on a grassy area that was quite clear of broken bottles and debris. It was decided I would go to the rally outside of Brown Chapel, the organization center during the original walk, while Doug stayed with the dogs.
I have never before felt like such a minority with my very white face. At the same time I have never been treated as politely in my life. Everyone greeted me with a smile and hello. We met eye to eye, almost as though we knew we had a common purpose - the right to vote.