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Rev. Vicky's Message April 11, 2024

“Usufruct” – I had never heard of this word – until I was introduced to a new book, “Countercultural: Subversive Resistance and the Neighborhood Congregation” by Gil Rendle. 

While Rendle makes compelling arguments about the importance of the institutional church to a healthy society, he also pointedly suggests that American congregations need to rethink our agenda. 

In short, rather than trying to “fit into the larger social, political and economic culture,” Rendle argues, congregations are (or should be) counter-cultural (as in the pattern of our wayshower, Jesus).  

Meaning, we should be seeking and offering NEW paradigms through which we can imagine a new way of life and ultimately a new world. 

He introduces “usufruct” in relation to the church’s calling to promote “obedience to the unenforceable,” saying: “Usufruct is what institutions do. They hold essential values received from the past (that constrain or direct us in good and healthy ways), encourage the use of those values in the present, and extend those values to the future.”

This Saturday, the UMB Leadership Council will be holding our annual off-site board training and visioning meeting. We will be looking at the role of church in the 21st century…and more specifically, the Vision, Mission, and Core Values of Unity of Monterey Bay that will guide us into our future, as we “seek and offer NEW paradigms through which we can imagine a new way of life and ultimately a new world.” 

On Sunday, we will be sharing some of our experiences and insights AND inviting you to engage with us in this aspirational process of discerning the vision and calling of Unity of Monterey Bay in these changing times. 


Rev. Vicky


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