Atlanta II

     As we try to peer through the looking glass into the future, we should know that it will not be easy.  I shall make no attempt to predict the future this evening.  But I am going to predict a little of the present.  I haven’t got my tenses mixed, talking about predicting the present.  The present you know is always reflected in the future.

     We have laid some important foundations in the past four years on which we shall inevitably build in the next four.  Now what does all of this have to do with mirrors -- and strangers who look just like us?

     Just one week ago yesterday, David Osborne preached a sermon at the service transferring the first fund to the UUA.  He talked about making choices and making history -- and he quoted someone whose name escapes me but whose words do not -- luck is the residue of design.  Whose design?

     Can we look in the mirror in our newly acquired three piece financial self-sufficiency and say we did it?  No.  It was Arthur Veatch who found the reserves under the earth.  Caroline Veatch who left the rights to the North Shore Church, probably with no idea of their ultimate value.

     Providence in some form...and the Congregation of the North Shore Church.  Not us.  Keep that in mind as you look yourself in the eye in the mirror.  We haven’t done all that well by ourselves.  We’re often quick to know how we want to apply our funds.

     But can we reconcile our image of ourselves as a caring, committed supportive denomination with what we have actually done in supporting our Association?  You can do something about that this week, you know.  In a sense, if we don’t give that support, much of the rest of what we do here this week, may be sound and fury -- signifying a show.

     Do we realize that -- as magnificent and munificent as the Plandome gift is -- we could match it if each adult member of our churches and fellowships gave only $145?

     This week we will apply our enormous level of energy to the work, the worship, the good fellowship and the campaigning.  Can we reconcile our image of ourselves at that pitch of energy, with the stranger in the mirror who is not making an effort of similar energy, to support and augment our Annual Program Fund.

     Let me also remind you that in the coming fiscal year, the supported share per capita gift by the congregations to the annual Program fund increases, until in the 1988-89 year, it will reach $20.  Will you be with it when it gets there?

     I have said before, membership in this Association is not a spectator sport.  This is a needed standard and we all need to support it when we get back to the real world.

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