Faith Over Fear
(with practical suggestions for FUUSN)
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been surprised by how quickly and how firmly the Netflix series “Cheer” has held me in its grasp. It wasn’t my first choice for family viewing, but my 17-year-old’s persistent refrain, “We could watch ‘Cheer…,’” finally wore me down. And, despite some of the fallout since the series first came out, I’m glad it did.
The world of Navarro College’s top-tier cheerleading team, while not completely analogous to FUUSN, nonetheless invites broad comparison. The forty athletes who work, train, and live together on campus—consistently winning national collegiate cheerleading championships—hail from diverse backgrounds, compelled to cheer for different reasons. Their routines are intricate, complex, and dangerous. They share responsibility for their success, and trust is an essential part of the mix: the cheerleaders who form the base of their dynamic pyramids (check one out here) are responsible for their teammates’ safety. And together, they form a diverse, complex, deft community that creates something beautiful, strong, and fleeting. I wouldn’t say that FUUSN reminds me of Navarro’s cheerleaders–yet the communities’ closeness and interdependence and flux are similar in some key ways.
So, when I was watching the “Cheer” season one finale just a few hours after hearing Amanda’s reflection on leaving FUUSN in June—and the many ways in which you are resilient as a congregation—it felt absolutely right to see Navarro’s head cheerleading coach wearing a t-shirt with the message “Faith Over Fear.” It’s a potentially tricky message for many UUs; a lack of faith often propels us to this pan-religious denomination. And life remains colored by the fear of covid. Faith Over Fear feels both bold and reasonable as FUUSN enters fully into a season of transition.
Erin, Amanda and Jud Leonard (on behalf of the lay ministers) all offered a listening ear; I highly encourage folks to take them up on that suggestion. Board Chair Demie Stathoplos wrote a letter addressing the upcoming changes. This community is well positioned and well supported to weather this transition in good form.
For those of you who want something else to do (however small) to further strengthen your community in this odd, still-not-in-person place, I have three small ideas:
1. Upload your photo to Realm. If you have a Realm profile, but haven’t yet uploaded a photo, please do! (Scroll down for instructions.)This will help people to find you in the online directory (and it’ll help me get to know the congregation better while we’re remote!)
2. If you’re hosting a meeting or event, please let Fran Clancy know (email@example.com), so she can add it to the website calendar. Not only will this help everyone to see FUUSN’s richness and vitality, but when we’re back in person, it will also help prevent room double-booking.
3. Mark your calendars. A couple of weeks ago, the member services committee started tentatively planning two outdoor events to take place at FUUSN: A pre-service breakfast on Sunday, April 10, and an early evening picnic on Saturday, April 30.
These events make me think of laughter, and joy; Amanda called out the joy at FUUSN yesterday. If that’s not something to have faith in, I don’t know what is.
-Heather Beasley Doyle, Membership Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Simple Instructions for Uploading a Photo to Realm:
Web version: Click on your name in the upper right corner, then click on “My Profile” from the drop-down list. Once taken to your profile information, you can click or tap on your photo and select to upload a new photo. The same process is true for adding a profile photo for the first time.
Realm Connect App: Select the “…more” tab at the bottom of your screen. Then select profile from the list of options. Then tap your photo to update or add a photo for the first time.