Posted by DeAnn Morris

In the L. A. Times of January 24th, I read an article about the voting pattern in a particular area of Los Angeles that voted for Trump. Actually, the only area. The imposing and impudent Scientology building swaggers there; evidently many practicing Scientologists camp nearby. I thought to myself: “Makes sense they would vote for Trump. They are really weird.”

As I write this, I am in Park City, Utah where I am participating in the Sundance Film Festival. This morning, Wednesday, the 25th, I watched a film entitled, Novitiate, which relates the story of a young woman entering a monastery, a strict monastery, run by a Nazi Mother Superior. (Of course!) The film exposes the rituals, customs, and trials a novitiate must endure in 1964, just before Vatican II, which eliminated some of the inhumane practices portrayed in the film. “Wow,” I reflected, “that stuff is truly weird.”

Afterwards I pondered how completely un-weird we UUs are. Then I recalled the time I brought a friend with me to church, with joyful enthusiasm, to provide her the uplifting experience of Neighborhood. However, mid-service, I could sense her discomfort. I suspected she was not going to return. “No,” she said, “it was too different, too weird.”

The first time I  attended Neighborhood, Sara LaWall, our previous Director of Religious Education, preached a summer sermon called, “Let Go and Let Google,” a title which struck me as whimsical, playful, experimental, creative, unconventional, thought-provoking, audacious.

The sermon itself stunned me. I had never heard anything like it in a church. My friend would have found it weird. I found it healing. Welcoming.

I was home!

My impulse was to rush to Tujunga to sell our house! In profound relief, I wished to thank Neighborhood bountifully for the gifts I had received. Jan was somewhat irked, slapping a quick kibosh on my lunacy, my weird goofiness.

So, speaking of bountiful gratitude, it is that time of year to recall our thankfulness for the community we find here at Neighborhood, to recall our thankfulness for all the opportunities and activities from which to choose.

It is generous giving time.

How about this: we enlarge our gift. We do not sell our homes, but we demonstrate our abundant appreciation by creating a plentiful pledge.

A plentiful pledge will be gratefully acknowledged and gratefully received.

Our Pledge Drive kicks off on February 12, 2017.

–DeAnn Morris, Pledge Drive Chair