Minister’s Message for February 28, 2020

I have been thinking about our family’s dogs lately. Don’t know why. ‘Captain’ was a Boston Terrier, given to us by my paternal grandmother in the 1950s. This dog was everything a dog should be, given its genetic inheritance, which included that of the bulldog. Captain loved nothing more than to have body-harness taken off and hurled a long distance, which he would quickly retrieve, and then refuse to let go of. He loved even more what came next, which was to be lifted off the ground and swung around in circle two or three revolutions on the lawn. His bulldog-like jaws never once let go. He held on like grim death, as the saying goes. This could go on for quite a while. We were proud of his determination, and I think he felt proud of himself.

We were also impressed by his stamina. Our family took a two-week trip up to the North Cascades, and brought Captain. The North Cascades was not yet a National Park, and dogs were allowed. And this little dog was marvelous. As we were hiking to each camp in a 50-mile trek, Captain would run up to the lead hiker, check that everything was OK there, then run to the person bringing up the rear, checking that all was well up and down the line. To my knowledge, there is no ‘herding’ gene in Terriers, but he was working to keep us together. As a result, we figured this dog covered 25 miles more than the humans on that expedition. Good dog!

U.S. election history note: at a place on this hike called Miners’ Ridge, the decaying wooden structures up above us, on the ridge, carried a white painted message that was big enough to be seen by an airplane: “Miners’ Ridge miners for Stevenson.” Adlai Stevenson, Governor of Illinois, and a Unitarian, lost twice to Eisenhower, in 1952 and 1956. The miners’ sign was probably from the 1952 election. In those days the rural working class voted Democratic.

The other dog in my life was Deborah’s big black Labrador, Fedallah, a name taken by Deborah from Moby Dick, the novel by Herman Melville (also a Unitarian). I will tell you about Fedallah some other time, perhaps.

NOTE 1: UUCE Leadership has ask that we increase the frequency of the Council of Chairs meetings, from quarterly to bi-monthly. “Monthly is too close together, and quarterly is too infrequent,” they said. The next two will be 8 weeks apart, on Weds April 8th at 7, and Weds June 3rd, also at 7.

NOTE 2: If you are interested in the issue of this congregation’s growth, please contact me about what you want to do to help, and/or attend our next meeting of the entire Growth Group, Wed March 25th, at 7. In a related matter, the Sunday Service on April 26th will be about developing ‘Radical Hospitality.’

NOTE 3: I will be offering Website Workshops following at noon, following the 3/1 and 3/9 Services and distributing cashmere scarves (winter is likely to revisit at least once more). Then I am taking a week off to see Deborah and work together on uuce.org functionalities. Unless by then the corona virus shuts down even domestic airline travel.

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