A MUUsing on Possibilities

by Brad Schultz, Music Director

Beloved People:

There are two tasks on my desk on this sunny morning: to prepare and submit a music budget for next year, and to write the first mUUsing on the theme of Possibility. I love how these two tasks are essentially the same thing! 

I was cleaning out my email inbox the other day and came across a thread of early correspondence with Judy Shaw, who was serving as the search committee chair for the Music Director position in the summer of 2017. “Possibility” shows up no less than four times in those emails, a word I came back to again and again.It’s a word I used, in part, to mitigate the anxiety I assumed the committee and church was feeling; anxiety over a long search process drawing dangerously close to the start of the program year, and anxiety over the future of along-established legacy of musical excellence and high expectations set forth by my predecessors. 

Throughout our church in recent weeks, our programs, initiatives, committees and ministries have been hard at work dreaming up possibilities that will help UUCE live even more fully into its mission. You’ll likely be hearing about some of these possibilities soon, because many of these possibilities are attached to dollar amounts and budgets, but feel free to ask around to program staff and committee chairs in the meantime (by the way, the possibilities list for music this year includes an expanded concert series as a gift to the community, a full-fledged children’s music ministry, and expanded relationships with UO student musicians).  Of course, it would be far too easy to let our anxieties get in the way of this exercise, wouldn’t it? Phrases like”budget shortfalls”, “mortgage payments” and “giving trends” have a sting to them, and when we are stung, we tend to react or recoil-at least I do. But what if we change that paradigm this new year? What would it take to turn our anxieties into possibilities? 

Throughout the month of January, we will more fully explore this word: possibility. In the months that lead to summer, we’ll look at the themes of trust, journey, wholeness,curiosity, and beauty. Or, put another way, by turning anxiety into POSSIBILITY, we TRUST that ours will be a JOURNEY towards even greater WHOLENESS, when we discover that putting our CURIOSITY into action magnifies the BEAUTY that was around us all along. 

See you at worship, in rehearsal, and at work in the world,