It is such an honor to be back amongst you – the 2019-20 sabbatical seems so long ago and like just yesterday. My ministry with you this time is different: instead of holding Rev. Meredith’s ministry while he took a restorative sabbatical, I am working as part of a beautiful ministry and staff team to shepherd you on the path to your search for a new minister.
We approach the year with curiosity – who are we now and who do we want to be? What does it mean to belong here? How are we to be with one another? How do we honor our traditions, yet trust the dawning future more? What is our sweet spot, the place where our vision meets the needs of our congregation, our community, and the world?
It’s exciting, what we plan to do. Rev. Patience Stoddard, who guided you through the self-assessment last year, will work closely with the board to review and refine the governance structure – and be a touchstone for leadership. Rev. Paul Langston-Daley will guide you through the thoughtful work of preparing for a new minister – inviting conversations about CUUC’s history, letting go, covenant, inclusivity, vision, and connection. Rev. Deb Morra, your affiliated community minister, will hold you in pastoral care. In addition to leading worship and being a touchstone for the ministers and staff, I will be offering thoughts here each week, curating each month’s Journey Group packets, and helping a vibrant team build a new way of creating and leading worship.
And of course, the transitional ministry team could not do any of this work without our brilliant staff team: from Tracy Breneman’s wisdom and commitment to faith development and right relationship, to Adam Kent’s passion and expertise in guiding our music program to meet our spiritual needs in and beyond worship, to the inspired talents of choir director Lisa Meyer and accompanist Georgianna Pappas, and of course to Pam Parker’s steady and kind presence as our administrator.
But more, we could not do any of this without committed lay leadership – especially the board, the committee on ministry, and the ministerial search committee, whose guidance is setting the tone for this year – trying new things, sharing the ministry, building a new way, preparing for CUUC’s next chapter.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll write more about what is coming and how we can best hold space for curiosity as we embark on this new chapter.
Blessings to you all!
PS: The first person to guess why this column is called Grace Notes will receive a small gift. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.