Unitarian Universalist Congregation
of Northern Chautauqua

companionship on life's sacred journey

I have a friend who speaks of knowledge as an island in a sea of mystery. Let this then, be the ground of my faith: All that we know, now and forever, all scientific knowledge that we have of this world, or ever will have, is as an island in the sea. Still the mystery surrounds us.
— Chet Raymo

Message From Our Minister

From the Heart

We are often encouraged to “keep our promises.” In this one particular case, I encourage folks to “keep to our promises.”

I am talking here about the mutual promises and commitments we make when we connect ourselves to our Unitarian Universalist congregations. We bundle these promises together and call them “covenants.”

I encourage us to “keep to” such covenants because we recognize our own imperfection in keeping to the letter and spirit. We will miss the mark in small – and sometimes large – ways.

Rather than kicking ourselves around in shame about our failures, we are called to forgive ourselves – and others. Then we acknowledge our mistakes and get on with the work of community. A covenant is not a brittle, fragile thing that shatters under stress. Better to think of a covenant as a woven fabric with lots of give and room for patches and repairs.

On the afternoon of Sunday December 9, we will host a workshop to consider our own Covenant of Right Relations in this light. I hope many of you will be able to attend.

Reverend George Buchanan