The Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

The Swing

Robert Louis Stevenson

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside—

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown—
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

When I think of summer, a poem comes to mind that was beloved both in my mother’s childhood and in my sister’s and mine. On the cover of the edition of Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses, given to my mother by her parents when she was seven years old, is an illustration by Eulalie Minfred Banks of a young girl in a smock and ruffled pantaloons, grimacing with concentrated delight as she propels herself seemingly up into the clouds on a roped swing. The carefree pleasure of being in the air overlooking the countryside captured in the drawing is a match for the exhilaration of Stevenson’s poem, “The Swing,” a paean to the sun and warmth and playtime. And, about this time of year, I think we could all use some playtime!

It’s been another incredibly long congregational year—one of uncertainty, flexibility, and, yes, great strides forward: new infrastructure (roof, solar panels, carpeting, kitchen), new ways of being in worship (livestreaming), new leadership (following the retirement of Rev. Virginia), a newly appreciative sense of what it means to be a congregation. And, while our world has seemingly come untethered from basic values of self-determination, democratic process, and shared truth, the vitality of the covenantal ties of Beloved Community that we create each time we gather has become newly apparent and valued.

I am excited to present, along with our indefatigable Worship Committee, a stellar summer line-up of guest ministers, lay leaders, community partners, and our staff, for Sunday morning worship services that lead us through the months of July and August and into the fall season. A wide variety of topics, music, and readings will stimulate conversation as well as build new community, for, let us not forget, summer Sundays are prime real estate for visitors to our congregation. In addition, each Sunday at noon, we will continue to provide access to a Zoom Community Hour. I hope you will join us, in-person, on the livestream, via our video library on YouTube, and on Zoom. I will be leading worship on July 3rd and on August 21st. The staff and I will be taking some vacation time away from the meetinghouse off and on in the next months. I include our summer schedules below, so that all know when and how we can be reached. In any given week, there will be someone on call for pastoral emergencies, and the office will remain open throughout.

I do hope that all of us take some dedicated time in these next months to engage in whatever activities bring us the sheer joy captured by “The Swing”—whether it’s “up in the air” or not.

I wish you a happy summer.

Rev. Craig

Summer Schedules for UUCMC Staff

We really appreciate the opportunity to recover from an especially challenging year! We will keep updated the following schedule for our times away this summer:

Rev. Craig

Away July 11–August 8

        Emergency Pastoral care coverage:

               July 11–24: Rev. Julie Newhall: newhallandia@gmail.com; (732) 539-8865)

               July 25–August 8: Michelle McKenzie-Creech: michelle@uucmc.org; (908) 670-8762

Michelle

Away July 2–24

Away August 9–15

Away August 28–September 5

Louise

Off June 15–August 15 (employed for 10 months only)

Maggi

Away August 31–September 6

Lisa

No planned time off