Hello dear church!

May this note find you well. And maybe with some new-to-you STUFF? A huge thank you to all of you who made the Earth Day Yard Sale a huge success last weekend! What a gift to our church and our neighbors.

I spent a day this week on study leave gathered with about 80 other transitional minister colleagues on Zoom. We reflected together on what’s going on for us in our particular contexts. It was refreshing and I learned a lot. One of the biggest things I learned is that we, A2U2, are not alone.

My colleagues in transitional ministry are asking the same questions with their congregations that we are asking together… how do we cultivate a sense of belonging and bring people together after years of disconnection? How do we engage with and serve our families and measure success in our RE programs? How do ministers possibly convey to the people we serve the ways in which the landscape of church and Unitarian Universalism itself is changing at rapid speed? How do we stay up-to-speed with movements for racial justice and lgbtqia+ inclusion? How do we find joy and beauty and meaning NOW, even when so much (ourselves included!) is in process?

I have no easy answers for you. But I do have a metaphor to share from Rev. Bill Sinkford: Being part of a congregation in transition (whether ministerial transition, culture change, or growth/decline) can feel a bit like living in a construction zone. Your neighborhood, which you adore, is noisy with trucks and jackhammers, weird smells and noises. And your landlord (staff) keeps changing! Of course we want to speed through that process. Nobody likes waking up from a nap to the sound of power tools.

Grace and peace,

Rev. Tara