I am thrilled to be your Intern Minister for the 2010-2011 church year. I appreciate the warmth and welcome I’ve received from those of you I’ve met, and I look forward to getting to know the rest of the church community as well.
A bit about me: I am a Candidate for Unitarian Universalist ministry, and I’m starting my third year as a Master of Divinity student at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley.
I moved to the Bay Area with my life partner, Peter Armstrong, two years ago to attend seminary. Prior to that, we lived in San Diego for 12 years, where I worked as a project manager at my family’s construction company. I like to say I have a ministry in steel toe shoes!
In addition to my seminary work, I volunteered as a youth advisor this past year at the UU Congregation of Marin. I also worked as a chaplain last summer at Sutter Sacramento. I am passionate about ministry and confident that I am on a path that brings me deep joy and meaning.
But let me be clear: these past two years have been stressful! It reads neat and tidy when I summarize it in a couple of pithy paragraphs. But every three or four months has meant adjusting to something new: new classes, a new home, a new job.
When I look around your beautifully renovated sanctuary and the wonderful kitchen and added space, I feel the joy of a congregation that has made a dream a reality. There is so much to be proud of in what you’ve accomplished.
And with that joy, I know there must be pangs of unease or even uncertainty. It can be hard to let go of what was familiar and beloved. I imagine that the church feels very different now, and there might even be ways that it no longer feels like home.
So if you do feel a little pang of loss, let me just affirm that even good change is hard (can I get an amen?) and invite you to hold gently the complexity of your mixed emotions. It may look different, but this is still your church home, and I look forward to making memories with you here in the year ahead.
Bright blessings, Sharon