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From the Desk of the Chair
Council Updates

Greetings Unity family,

I have a bunch of updates to share with you today, so why not dive right in?

First off, you should know that we had a spirited and productive council meeting this month.  We confronted a number of large issues head-on.  Although we may not have determined all the answers, do know that we are wrestling with the current situation and are taking matters seriously.

Just a few of these matters include:
- How do we support Pastor Jeff while he is away?
- How do we support our congregation while Pastor Jeff is away?
- How do we support Dr. Rev. Nancy Cocks while she supports us while Pastor Jeff is away?
- How do we engage in fellowship with you -- the congregation -- and with the community around us?
- How do we juggle funds to balance the budget headed into a new year?

I have recently received a bunch of inquiries as to Pastor Jeff's status and wellbeing.  I will do my best to answer these inquiries honestly.

Despite the fact that Pastor Jeff's choice to take this leave of absence was in consultation with his doctor, I am not privy to his medical diagnosis (if any) or detailed current health prognosis.

I know that Pastor Jeff has felt deeply tired this year, and I believe he needs time to replenish, reset and renew.  Beyond that, I feel it is vital that I respect his healing, his peace and his privacy by not pressing him with additional questions.

It's also worth keeping in mind that there are formal procedures in place through the ELCIC Group Services in conjunction with insurance provider Windley Ely during Pastor Jeff's short-term disability leave involving confidentiality and other employee rights.  In instances where I (or council) may be acting as an employer, I/we need to be cognizant of relevant ethical and legal boundaries.  I strive to abide by these guidelines, and I know the whole of council does the same.

With that said, I do understand how difficult it is to not know how to care for someone who means a lot to you.  I feel a bit helpless in the midst of this, myself.

Although I do not get the sense that he is eager for visitors at this time, I do have one idea for how you could reach out to Pastor Jeff.  You might hand write a short note to him and leave it in the church mailbox.  I'm sure Deanna would be thrilled to pick it up after her weekly piano lessons and pass it along.

Thank you all, once again, for your prayers for Pastor Jeff and your patience during this time.

At our most recent Council Meeting, we approved the Minutes of the previous Meeting (October 20, 2021).

You can access the Minutes here:
Somehow I cannot find the updated Financial information.  I really apologize, as I do not have an update for you today.
After considerable planning, the Worship Life team has done it again.

We will run a regular hybrid worship service the next two Sundays (Nov 28 & Dec 5), but we will not hold services on Dec 12 & 19 if Pastor Jeff is still away.  If he returns to work by then, we will revert back to having services each week, as per usual.

Nancy will deliver the sermon on those first two Sundays of Advent and has volunteered to do the same, along with a children's story, on Christmas Eve.  We are so blessed to have her in our midst!    [And a thank you to all the others whose dedication sometimes goes unnoticed.]

Here is the serving lineup for December 5...
Sermon:   Nancy
Service Lead:   Leah
Piano:   Vicki
Reader:   Joan
Sound/Zoom/Powerpoint:   Mike

And here is the tentative December worship schedule...
Dec 5:   2nd Sunday of Advent Service
Dec 12:   No service
Dec 19:   No service
Dec 24:   6:00 pm - Christmas Eve Service

Nancy would also like to highlight a MHART fundraiser concert on December 16 at St. John's Presbyterian Church.  You can find more information here:  LINK to flyer.
Thanks to each and every one of you who participated in the 2nd Annual Cookie & Pie Sale with the Social Team.
That's all I have for now.

As always, if you have a suggestion or inquiry regarding Unity Council, or any of the topics discussed in this Newsletter, it would be great to hear from you.

I can be reached at:

Looking forward to Advent, I wish you all a splendid month ahead.

Warmth and peace be with you,

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