It’s been a little while since we’ve seen each other, hasn’t it? I miss you all so very much! I’m finding this liminal time between the vote to call in May and my beginning to serve as your minister to be a very rich opportunity for practicing appropriate boundaries, as we persist a little while longer in this state of “Go! Wait, not yet!” Have you ever had an experience like this, where you wanted to dive right into the pool, but felt like you were waiting forever for the lifeguard to blow the whistle? It’s not my strength, but I’m practicing.
I actually have the word patience tattooed on my left wrist as a persistent reminder to myself to take a breath, to sit and notice all that is happening in this moment, to appreciate being, without always doing. And it’s true that I just want to be among you, working with you to transform hearts and lives, and help to heal the world. And so, it’s a little more “not yet” for now (though I’ll continue to follow along with your lives on Facebook if you tend to be a sharer there). I’ll be the one over here, teetering on the edge with enthusiasm, trying not to inadvertently fall in.
It has been a pretty wonderful summer for us as a family, Ariel, Rowan and I. We’ve done some camping and boating, gone for walks in the woods and along the shore, enjoyed music in the parks and time with friends. Rowan has also discovered lego, which gives Ariel and I good reason to spend hours constructing mostly-abstract creations alongside him. We’re also tying up loose ends as we finish our work (I finished my service with the UUA last week), eagerly making plans for our move to Seattle, and filling in the fall calendar with places we hope to see in Mexico on our little sabbatical adventure. Please send your budget-conscious tips my way – firstname.lastname@example.org.
It has been heartening to be in semi-regular contact with the congregation’s leadership and the transition team, making plans with them to meet the congregation’s needs throughout the fall and to, as that Emma’s Revolution song reminds us, keep on moving forward. I’m so impressed with the great work being done by so many groups within the congregation, and especially the energy everyone is bringing forth and generously offering. I have also been so grateful to see this summer’s progress made on renovation and installation of the lift, increasing accessibility for community members and fulfilling a promise the congregation made to itself when it bought this building. I hope the congregation is proud of its achievement, and I want to share my profound thanks to Patti McCall who has been leading this project from her own deep commitment to Unitarian Universalism’s invitation to radical welcome and hospitality.
I have to tell you, the hills were truly alive with the sound of music a few weeks ago when I was in Denver, CO for the Association of UU Music Ministries’ Conference. It was an absolute delight to be there amongst so many gifted and passionate musicians and songleaders from our continental UU community. I really appreciated the chance to spend time with Scott Farrell, Westside’s Acting Music Director, as we shared after our workshops and worships, and really just got to know each other a little better. Scott has so many fantastic ideas and his energetic and inquisitive spirit is a great gift to the congregation and to me as a collaborator. Westside member Cecilia Hayes was a leader at the event, offering several workshops, serving on an enlightening panel, and offering her own abundant vocal gifts in worship, which I felt grateful to witness. I was also blessed by an invitation from Westside’s former Music Director, Bert Gulhaugen, to sit, listen and reflect, which was enormously gracious and meaningful to me. It was five days of soul-filling being as I got to experience powerful worship, visit with ministerial colleagues and other UUs who came through the youth and young adult communities, and also spend time with the founder of the UU Hysterical Society, which you should check out on Facebook if you’re not already a fan. I have “Not a Horcrux” stickers for all of you Harry Potter fans to put on your diaries, rings and cups, and UU Indulgences on offer for anyone who needs them (https://www.uuhystericalsociety.com/).
May your summer be one of joys growing in number, sorrows shared to lighten the load, and justice sought hand-in-hand. Keep on moving proudly, keep on singing loudly, keep on loving boldly, never turning back.