In the Interim: To Build the Common Good (and Make Our Own Days Glad)

Perhaps you are familiar with the hymn, “For all That is Our Life,” which is in our grey UUA hymnbook. The song calls us to “build the common good…and make our own days glad.”

It might be more challenging, right now, to see how to get to that ‘common good’ that the song talks about. I don’t know about you, but I’m having trouble holding my feet to the fire, recognizing that this time of transition in our country is the time when I have to engage, speak, act, and live my faith.

How do we connect with the call to deepen and live our faith?

My friend, the Rev. Andrea LaSonde Anastos wrote, “The journey I am on (the goal for which I yearn) is to nurture and uphold the ‘common good’ during a time when I see it being systematically dismantled. It isn’t a very splashy vision …but I am inspired by Barbara Kingsolver to keep reflecting until I have an answer. In Animal Dreams, she writes,
‘The very least you can do in your life 
is figure out what you hope for.
And the most you can do is live inside that hope.
Not admire it from a distance
but live right in it, under its roof.’ “

So I’m trying to figure out how to live in this place. I have joined a Rapid Response Team of friends and colleagues. I am in two faith development and exploration groups. I am joining a group of musicians who are putting together resources for singing, marching, demonstrating in this time of change and dissent.

What about you? You may be new to this faith…or perhaps you are one of us who were raised in Unitarian Universalism. Whatever the path that brought you to Follen Church, I encourage you to use this time, right now, to discover the ways in which your belief system, your connection to Unitarian Universalism and that which you share and teach your children, can be deepened and made more meaningful in your life.

What do I mean?

  • First and always, come to church. No matter who is preaching, no matter the sermon title, come.
  • Bring your children – regularly. We will try and support their faith journey just as yours is supported in worship.
  • Join the New UU gatherings after church, even if you aren’t a ‘new UU.’ You can learn more about why Unitarian Universalism may be the best promise we have for what ails the world right now.
  • Try out the new “Food for Thought” monthly programs that are being offered on the third Thursday of each month: you’ll get a meal, a thought-provoking and faith-deepening discussion and presentation, and child care for your children if you have them with you.
  • Join a covenant group if you haven’t already – small group ministry is a wonderful way to extend your faith.
  • Witness your faith through action at church and in your community, and beyond. Go on one of the service trips the church offers, to discover Unitarianism’s roots in Transylvania or restoration work which continues on the Gulf Coast.

I could go on – but you get the drift. There is so much that is possible. Right now, you might be thinking “My head hurts – I can’t do it all.” No, you can’t. But you can do one thing. And that one thing, which can connect you to what you most hope for in the world, can help you feel more connected and empowered to live into a place of hope in your life.

What one thing will it be for you? Tell me, please …I would like to hear from you, and know where you are on this journey.

Faithfully yours,


Deb Weiner

Interim Director of Religious Education