Dear Ones,

Perhaps it is a little mysterious to you what all a minister might be good for other than a sermon or a newsletter column or, in my specific case, a loaf of homemade bread. Here are some good reasons to reach out to me:

  1. You need a sympathetic ear for problems or decisions you are facing regarding your job, children, marriage, relationship, or anything else; you are feeling confused, depressed, isolated or hopeless or have a joy to share
  2. You have a friend or loved one who is ill or in trouble or you yourself are dealing with an illness, disability or facing surgery; you notice that someone you know in the congregation needs support.
  3. Someone you love is near death or has died or and you need help with end-of-life planning or a service; you’re planning to marry, struggling in a relationship or contemplating divorce; you’re pregnant but wish you weren’t or are thrilled you are; you would like to have a child dedicated; you are undergoing a major transition in your life and feel the need to ritually recognize the threshold you are crossing.
  4.  You or someone you know has questions about religion or Unitarian Universalism; you want to build your theology, deepen your spiritual life or are in spiritual crisis; you’re considering membership in the congregation or have already joined and are wondering how you can participate more fully in congregational life; you would like to share your talents and gifts as part of one of our groups, committees, or classes, or serve as a volunteer in some other way.
  5.  You want to affirm something good going on in the congregation or would like to discuss a congregational issue that is troubling you; you have ideas about sermons or programs or have a project you would like to initiate; you’re mad at me or someone else and want to air your feelings and work it out; you’d just like to come sit with me and see what may open to us.

The point is: I am here to help, part of a larger circle of helpers. No one need feel alone or helpless. So, look at the “How to Get Help” memo below.Put the names and numbers into your mobile phone. And while you are at it, create a mobile phone entry for “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) and the phone number of your #1 go-to person. ICE is the entry that medical professionals will be looking for in your phone if you are ever in an accident or an ER and cannot speak for yourself. Put my number in there too under “My Minister.” If you or someone you love is ever emergently injured or hospitalized, call me and I will come immediately. I can help you navigate the chaos. Yes, ministers do that. A lot. And whenever you go to the hospital, consider letting me know. I’d be more than happy to come visit you there, send a card, chat on the phone, IM back and forth, help with a problem.

Finally, I urge all of you to download and fill out our In Case of Emergency (ICE) / End of Life Planning form. Make copies for your family, doctor, lawyer and one for me. I keep them in a secure file in my office. The primary purpose of the document is to spur you to think about some tough issues and to plan ahead, and in doing so reduce the number of difficult decisions your loved ones will have to make if you were to be badly injured, very ill or dying. Meanwhile, my dear ones, live well, love much, and don’t hesitate to call,



Need to talk to your minister?

I am most likely to be in my office on Mondays, 1:00 – 3:00 pm; Tuesdays, 2:30 –4:30 pm; and Thursdays, 10:00 –1:00 pm (Staff meetings happen on 1st and 3rd Thursdays, from 10:30—1:00). Sometimes obligations in the community, emergency calls, or appointments disrupt my best laid plans! My own Sabbath day is Wednesday. If you need to talk or make an appointment, email () or call (cell: 203-228-0911;  home: 603-675-1052) to make an appointment. I try to flex to your schedule. I am sometimes available on Fri-Sat-Sun for appointments with folks whose schedules preclude other days. In an emergency—any day, any time—I am yours.

Need an ear, a resource, ideas, advice, support, a meal, a ride, a visit?

Linda Kirk, Chair of the Pastoral Assistants: 473-0689 ()

Having trouble finding a thing or a person or an answer?

Susan Catanzaro, Congregational Administrator, 10:30-4:30 M-F; 751-0297 ()

Want to talk to someone professionally attuned to the needs of families, youth and children?

Gretta Johnson-Sally, Director of Religious Education: cell 387-5270; home 864-3010 ()

Need to connect with the Board of Trustees?

Maureen Shaiman is our President this year: 588-8292 ()

Have an issue with an aspect of our ministry or an idea for moving us forward towards fulfilling our mission as a congregation?

The Committee on Ministries of the Congregation is a great place to go to discuss a problem, get help with a conflict or float an idea. Dave Tarbell chairs the committee this year: