Hello Loving Community,
I’ve been reflecting about being a Board member in our time without a settled minister, how it changes the dynamic of the work and how it strengthens and allows us opportunities to care for each other in ways we might not otherwise have access to if we had a full-time settled minister.
For me this summer blew by quickly while caring for my mother at the end of her life and her eventual passing in August. I had many mystical and beautiful experiences with her that I’m still making sense of. Life doesn’t stop while taking on the work of the Board. It’s been a challenging and growing experience to hold my grief with care while at the same time making space to do the task-oriented aspects of the Board, carry on the work of my business, and somehow find time to wash the dishes and fold laundry.
At the beginning of each Board Meeting we make space for a brief personal check-in on how we are doing. Tears are often right at the surface for me and I think I’ve cried at the beginning of a couple of Board meetings. Then I wipe my tears and go on with the work. Martha Hickman in her daily meditations for working through grief called Healing After Loss writes so poignantly about my overall experience serving our congregation in this time:
Each of us carries a light within, though often it seems shrouded in darkness. But it is there-that spark that causes us to respond to love, care, beauty, and need in the world, even when we are sad. Perhaps, indeed, when we are sad we react with even more intensity to the gifts and opportunities life offers.
I’ve noticed the times I feel most connected in the congregation, and with Board members, is when I make the effort to engage in deeper conversation and when someone reaches out and relates with their own story. I deeply appreciate the ways people have shown their support to me. I know there are others of you in grief and your needs are felt in my heart.
My wish for the congregation is we become better at engaging in deeper conversations and make openings to care for each other and share concerns, even when fear or other emotions arise. The Board is focused on opening more pathways for everyone to share their experiences and perspectives on big decisions coming our way. I hope you will join me in making the effort to engage in these conversations, and to have your voice be heard and your perspective honored.
In Love and Community,