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List of 10

Denny Donaldson, a longtime member who died last year, maintained a “List of 10.” On her list she shared, for example, in the “number 1 spot” was that she was a happy wife and mother – of course that makes perfect sense. I am sure that many of us could make such a list but what surprised and challenged me about Denny’s list were entries number 7 and 8: “Each season is my favorite and each month is my favorite.” Initially I thought, “how can this be?” I mean of course I love the summer the most with its warmer days, sun, and the luxury of time spread out in front of me, but as the leaves turn color and bedazzle my eyes, the coolness offers some relief and the bugs recede a bit, I am starting to think that maybe Denny had some real insight to share because now fall seems to also be my favorite season. What if like Denny I/we are able to love something about all seasons or all months. I am not rushing through fall but honestly I love that first snowfall. Maybe there are endearing and important qualities the whole year through? What would be on your list of 10?
In the spirit of lists I have some thoughts and news to share with you:
1) This Saturday begins our “Seeker Potlucks” which are an evening of multi-media, live music and musings about the monthly worship theme. These incredible events will be held the first Saturday of every month so please plan on attending, bring some food to share as we gather in community, think about the worship theme of the month (this month: radical hospitality) and to be serenaded by the tones and tunes of featured artists. This month it will be Edj and Buren Andrews and their friend Taylor. Mark it on your calendar this Saturday night October 4th, beginning at 5:30 in the Commons, and don’t forget to bring a friend!
2) You may have noticed that we have changed the format for the Connector. It is now shorter and published weekly as “The Weekly Connector.”  I would be interested to hear what you think about this new “connector” format so please let Leslie Silva our Congregational Administrator or myself know.
3) I wanted to update you on my weekly schedule. With the help of the Board of Trustees and the Committee on Ministry, I have committed to take off one day a week, Mondays. I will not be available from Sunday evening through Monday via email, phone or to meet except for emergencies. If you do have an emergency please call me on my mobile phone, 617-838-2022. It is truly the best way to contact me.
4) Another question that I get asked quite often is what is my weekly schedule and if I keep regular and open office hours? Any of the days that I am in the office, which tend to be Tuesday or Wednesday, are usually filled with meetings. However, if you would like to meet with me, I would love to meet right back with you.  I would suggest that you reach out to me via e-mail or on my mobile phone so that we can set a time to meet in my study or talk over the phone. Here is my basic daily schedule:
Monday OFF except the first Monday of the month during the evening which is reserved for the Board of Trustees meeting.
Tuesday 10 – 9 meetings offsite and at FPS, planning for worship and writing.
Wednesday 10 – 9 meetings offsite and at FPS, reading.
Thursday 10 – 9 research and writing sermon.
Friday 10 – 6 more research and writing sermon.
Saturday 10 – 9 rituals (weddings and funerals), meetings, gatherings and events (such as the Seeker Potluck, Harvest Fair, annual auction…)
Sunday 8 – 5 worship, events and meetings
* with this schedule in mind there are hours of responding to email, doing ministerial and management tasks, as well as engaging in social media review and response.
5) As far as correspondence please do not hesitate to e-mail me multiple times, call me, ask me on Sunday after worship, or remind me of anything that might be of concern to you. I try to remember absolutely everything, but at times I do forget. I do not get upset when reminded.
6) It is hard when I find out after the fact that you have had some injury, loss, or surgery. I sincerely want to know what is happening with you so I can help.You may tell some of our lay leaders, but there is no certainty that I will find out. I have fairly good intuition but, unfortunately, I’m not a mind reader. I ask that if you have a pastoral concern (about you or a loved one or another member or friend at FPS), please let me know. You can also reach out to a member of the Pastoral Associates Group (PAG) or our Congregational Administrator Leslie Silva, who can help you connect you with the right person.
7) Another topic that has been in my heart and on my mind is Adult Spiritual/Religious Experiences. A friend of mine, Annie Weatherwax recently had a book published called, “All We Had” about homelessness. I will be offering a book discussion in November; I am trying to get my friend, Annie to participate. Here is the conundrum: Annie’s book has been really successful and optioned for a movie and has been selected by Oprah to be one of her books (http://www.oprah.com/book/All-We-Had?editors_pick_id=46876), so Annie is traveling all over doing readings and signings. If you are interested in participating in the book discussion, read the book and stay tuned for the date in November – – there also may be some online component to this discussion if you are interested but cannot participate at FPS. I am also planning to offer a series of dates to discuss the over arching tenets of the world’s religions complete with field trips. Stay tuned beginning in January.
8) I would like to schedule a meeting before December to meet with the men and the women who bid on, and won, the two sermons I offered in the auction. Maybe we could meet separately one Sunday in the next few weeks after worship to discuss possible topics.
9) Beginning in October, in celebration of our 375th anniversary, the Memorial Congregational Church in town (MCC) and FPS, will gather on several occasions to honor our history and to better understand how we can work together to build the beloved community. On October 19th the members, friends and children of MCC will gather at FPS for worship and fellowship. The Rev. Tom O’Brien and I will discuss our collective and separate histories and imagine the various ways that we can work together to create civility in Sudbury and beyond.  Maybe even learn to play and have some fun together in the coming year.
10) As the days continue to evolve from summer into fall and fall into winter let us be mindful of all the beauty and blessings that surround us. I look forward in the coming months to traveling with you on a mission of sorts to cultivate a practice of mindfulness that may just help us be present in our lives and in community with one another.
I look forward to the exciting months ahead and yet I am not willing to rush a moment of this seasonal transformation. Join me in reveling in the right now.

Peace and Love, Rev. Marjorie