First of all, I just have to say…Congratulations! I’m so exited for you and for Rev. Sophia as you look forward to beginning the next chapter of your adventure together!
While you were spending your time getting to know Rev. Sophia – and she, you – during your Candidating Week, I was attending the annual conference of the Transitional Ministers Chapter of the UU Ministers Association (UUMA). Each year we meet to sharpen our skills and to deepen our connections to one another and our commitment to the work we do in congregations. And each year, I am reminded of how vital this work of interim ministry really is.
I was delighted to hear that your week culminated in a unanimous vote to call. I am proud of and grateful to the members of your search committee who worked so diligently all year to listen to you and to find a minister whom they believed could serve you well in the years to come. (I am also grateful to their families for the sacrifices they made!) And I am grateful to all of you who took the time to meet with Rev. Sophia and share with her your hopes, your dreams, your questions, and your concerns. Well done!
Of course, all of this means that we are approaching the end of this particular chapter in the on-going story of First Parish of Watertown. But we are not quite there yet! I will continue to be with you through the end of July, and I will continue to lead worship services through the third Sunday in June. June 20th will be my final Sunday in the Zoom Pulpit.
The following week, I’ll be “attending” the UU General Assembly. It is not too late for you to sign up for that, too. You can learn more about this year’s GA and register here: https://www.uua.org/ga/registration.
And, as was the case last year, whether you register or not, you are all invited to the GA Sunday worship service on June 27. But among the really compelling reasons to register is to attend the annual and historic Ware Lecture on Saturday, June 26th at 7:00pm. This year the esteemed Ware Lecturers will be…(drumroll, please!)…voting rights activists, Stacey Abrams and Desmond Meade. You can learn more about the history of the Ware Lecture and this year’s speakers here: https://www.uua.org/ga/program/highlights/ware-lecture.
Some of you have begun to ask what I will be doing July 30th. I am currently exploring my options and will let you know as soon as I know. In the meantime, I am beginning to make plans for us to say goodbye to one another well, and there will be opportunities to say goodbye in person…stay tuned for more information in early June!
Meanwhile, our theme this month is “Story.” Here are some questions to reflect upon as we begin:
- What story did you first fall in love with?
- How would you tell the story of your life if you had only 500 words to tell it?
- What story about yourself have you outgrown, but others are still telling about you?
- What genre is your current life’s story? Mystery? Adventure? Romance?
- What stories did your elders pass down to you? And which have you passed on to your children, grandchildren, godchildren, nieces, nephews or niblings?
- What has been the best plot twist of your life’s story?
- How do you imagine the next chapter in your life – and in the congregation’s life – might unfold? And what will be your role in helping to write it?
I look forward to reflecting together this coming month on the theme of “story,” And I look forward to seeing you again, in Zoom Church!
In faith and hope and the spirit of love,
Wednesday, May 26, 7:00-8:30: Listening Deeply to Poetry…on “Story”
Join us as we gather once again on Zoom to read and reflect on 3 poems using an adaptation of the Christian tradition of Lectio Divina. The basic idea of Lectio Divina is to deeply listen to a text by reading it multiple times with different questions in mind each time. This month, we will engage in a deep reading and reflection on 3 poems related to this month’s theme of “story.”
Everyone is welcome! You need not have attended before, and there is no need to prepare anything ahead of time. Just bring yourself, perhaps a love of poetry or a longing for deeper spiritual engagement, and an openness to listening in community.