The Rev. Wendy Pantoja
The start of a new year offers a clean slate on which we can map out a new course for our lives. As one year comes to a close, we cannot help but review it. What worked? What could I have done without? Then we get tempted to make a long list of things we are going to do differently and . . . Well, each of us has our own ending to that statement.
For many, the resolutions go mostly unfulfilled for any number of reasons. We lose faith in them and refuse to “waste time” making another such list. That’s where I was at the close of 1998 approached. But I also knew that something had to change. Having moved to a New Jersey suburb only a few years earlier with a teen-age son and working an hour away was not exactly conducive to meeting people in my new neighborhood. Also, I was not affiliated with a religious community or special interest group which might have offered such opportunities.
So I sat myself down and thought about what would speak to my yearnings. I identified three:
- Finding a religious community that would not bash my theological ideas too badly. Perhaps I should check out those Unitarians I had heard about.
- Affiliating myself with an active political group.
- Trying out for an amateur theater group.
Little did I know that when I walked through the doors of the First Unitarian Society of Plainfield (FUSP) on the first Sunday of 1999, I would find ways of satisfying all three. Unitarian Universalism turned out to be a perfect theological fit, setting me on a transformative path like no other. The opportunities for social justice work there spoke to my political unrest. The third one took a little longer for this introvert who was much more so at the time. But it opened me up to being on the stage of the Parish Hall a few years later playing multiple roles in the year’s rendition of the “FUSP Follies”.
Resolutions? I highly recommend them. But before you take out paper and pen, think long and hard about the one, two or, at most, three things you yearn to have in your life this year. You do not have to tell anyone what they are. Simply write them down using positive expression. Resolutions are like wishes or prayers for in their expression you take the first step in making them come true.
This year, I resolve to . . .
Happy New Year! ¡Feliz Año Nuevo! Bonne Année! Guten Rutsch!
En paz y fe,
Contact the Minister
Minister’s Office Hours
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 1 PM – 5 PM*
Monday: day off
Friday: Sermon writing day
Saturday: reserved for special meetings and other events
Please know that this schedule is subject to change in order to meet other ministerial and denominational responsibilities. It will also be revised over the course of the year in response to congregational needs.
Rev. Wendy is available by telephone 9 AM – 8 PM except on her days off. Emergency calls will be accepted at any time.
*It is always best to call for an appointment. If these hours do not accommodate your schedule, please do not hesitate to call for an appointment at a mutually convenient time.