It has been a bit of a whirlwind since I left all of you and beautiful West Seattle a few weeks ago, floating on air and pretty wiped out from our incredible ten days together. Ariel has just returned from five days away in Calgary serving as the Adult Chaplain at the Canadian national youth conference; Rowan and I are heading to Toronto on Thursday for a week for my grandfather’s memorial service. I know things at Westside have likewise been proceeding apace, with the 501c3 application submitted (thank you Shannon and all the volunteers who helped) and more preparation underway for submitting the visa application when the time comes. I’m delighted with the success of the nominating committee to identify a full slate for the board along with the next nominating committee, and so grateful for the leaders who have generously moved forward as volunteers.
This liminal space is undeniably strange; knowing that we’re committed to the future and the ministry that we’re building together, but also that it’s not yet time for the ball to really start rolling. I find myself writing notes with more ideas and questions almost every day, and keeping them in my drafts folder until it’s time to share them. My start date isn’t until August 1st of course (and we don’t yet know when I’ll get to be there in person), but I’ll be having some necessary conversations with Westside’s leadership before then as we navigate the uncertain timelines of the visa process, and making sure that the congregation is well supported and we are working together as we move through that period. From Sunday morning services to small group ministries, pastoral care to social justice, we’ll be working together to keep the energy and enthusiasm of Candidate Week moving forward into the future.
After a very busy (and exciting) winter and spring, my family is planning a much more subdued summer. Even with attending General Assembly in Spokane (please let me know if you’re going to be there so we can get together) and the UU Music Ministries conference in Denver, this summer feels like it will have a lot of necessary spaciousness. We’re booked at several area campsites, alone and with friends, and will be exploring the forests, lakes, and beaches all over BC’s lower mainland and sunshine coast. I’m always astonished at how easily the world seems to recede in the quiet of the west coast forests. There’s one place that I know I’ll be visiting again – Vancouver Island’s Cathedral Grove, where I found that the sacred space of the woods mirrored the spacious silence of our great cathedrals. It is a special place to simply breathe.
Amidst the persisting assaults on women’s reproductive rights, and dire news about the environment and the climate crisis, these are heavy times. On Facebook, Twitter, and in messages, I have seen your fear and your hope, your anger and your impassioned resistance. I encourage you to use this summer to find, or return to, the spaces where silence and stillness heals your heart, where music and art enliven your spirit, where friends and family offer respite and resilience. We are approaching a new beginning, a beautiful new day, and I trust that all will be well when we remember that love will guide us, and let the hope inside us lead the way.