President’s Message for February, 2024

As an act of self-love, I bought myself a copy of “All About Love: New Visions,” by bell hooks last year for Valentine’s Day. Of course, I did not get around to reading it until approaching this year’s Valentine’s Day. But I strongly believe that the right book will find you when you’re ready to welcome it, and this year was just the right year to dig into this work.

Collector and lover of words, bell hooks graces us with beautifully snippets, including this quote from Parker Palmer: (Emphasis mine)

“To be fully alive is to act…I understand action to be in any way that we can co-create reality with other beings and the Spirit…Action, like a sacrament, is the visible form of an invisible spirit, an outward manifestation of an inward power. But as we act, we not only express what is in us and help give shape to the world; we also receive what is outside us, and reshape our inner selves.”

This has me thinking about the co-creation we all engage in at Chalice all the time. We vote at congregational meetings; we offer warm smiles on Sunday. We have ideas; some of us serve on the Board. We make the delicious coffee (cannot ever thank Peter Armstrong enough for the coffee). And we speak up during open questions meetings. But we also are changed by this action too, and I don’t think we think enough about how church life opens us up – expands us just a little bit more to think outside ourselves, warms us up a bit in a world that can be sometimes really hard.

I want to let you know that the Board is hard at work creating an open questions process, focus groups and other vision planning. We have a few suggested changes to the by-laws that we believe will help enhance the church life and the structure of how things get done. This year’s open questions are below. If you have no idea what open questions are, that’s ok. Stay tuned and start thinking about how these relate to your life at Chalice:

  • Who shall we invite to join us, and how do we mean to change their lives?
  • What programs would you like that Chalice does not currently have and how would you improve the programs we already have?

And we will have our annual Coordinating Team/Board retreat on February 10 which is an exciting time for leaders to come together (and the food is good! And there’s a facilitator who’s awesome! And you should join us next year!). The best way to get involved is to read your e-nuus and check your email. There will be much more to come.

In love and service,