Greetings! I’m delighted to finally be here with you, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve alongside of you as we travel the Interim Path together. I very much look forward to meeting you in the coming weeks and getting to know you – andyour hopes and dreams for First Parish – in the coming months.
The Interim Time can be an exciting and invigorating time in the life of a congregation. It is a time both for looking back and for looking ahead, for uncovering who you have been (and celebrating the good things!) and discovering who you want to become together. It is a time of change, of course, and with change can come feelings of loss and sadness, but also of possibility and opportunity.
This is a time both for recognizing and holding on to what is most important to you and also for experimenting with new ways of doing things. It is a time for taking some risks, for trying new things occasionally. It is best to approach this time, if you can, with a sense of adventure, with an open mind and an open heart.
If we try something new this year that you like, please let me know! And if we try something new this year that you don’t like, please let me know that, too! The good news about Interim Ministry and change is that it’s temporary! Nothing that we try need be set in stone.
One experiment for this year is theme-based ministry, which is something that many other UU congregations are currently engaged in or beginning to practice. Taking advantage of some of the wonderful resources that are already out there, we will explore a different theme each month from September through June. These particular themes are intended to align with the work that we’ll be doing together this first Interim year. My hope is that this will help staff members and other worship leaders in planning, and also provide opportunities for deepening our exploration of the themes, through religious education, adult programming, and personal reflection.
The theme for September will be Expectation & Invitation. We will begin by exploring our expectations of the Interim Time itself, as well as our expectations of ourselves and one another during this time.
Future themes for this year include:
October – Letting Go
November – Memory
December – Hope
January – Vision & Possibility
February – Identity & Belonging
March – Generosity & Abundance
April – Liberation
May – Thresholds
June – Blessing
If you find that a particular theme resonates for you, consider suggesting a program or a conversation topic, a book or a movie, to share and discuss with others. Or consider signing up to be a chalice lighter that month, and share words from your heart that speak to the theme. Or suggest a specific topic that you’d like to have us explore in worship that might be related to a particular theme.
I’m looking forward to celebrating the Annual Water Service with you this Sunday, September 8th! This year we will be doing things a little bit differently, so please bring not only your water, but also your open-mind, your open-heart, and your spirit of adventure!