Hello, Everyone! I am sitting in my bedroom late on a Sunday night, keying in my first Chalice article as President of Starr King Unitarian Universalist Church’s Board of Trustees. Part of me sighs, “I’m not even PRESIDENT yet — I’m President-Elect for 18 more days.” sometimes life’s like that, eh? It shouldn’t surprise me — I remember when I became Vice-President two years ago, I also hit the ground running; I felt like I jumped right into the deep end. (Obviously, this will be an Administration of Mixed Metaphors. Life can be that way, too!)
What a winning day today! The weather was bright and fine, our lovingly-tended grounds looked so pretty and inviting, and our very special worship service welcomed a bumper-crop of new members and said an appreciative “Farewell!” to Ministerial Intern Sharon Wylie and Director of Religious Exploration Lane Campbell, whose growing careers are leading them to new challenges. We also acknowledged the contributions of many, many other leaders in our congregation, who have done so much to make our community lively and nourishing. We truly live in Shared Ministry; all we do together is Ministry. We are indeed blessed by our common ministry.
After church, the Hospitality and Membership Committee and other established members welcomed our new members again at a New Member Luncheon at Reverend Katie’s home, sharing food and fellowship, and discussing the varying paths that have led us each to Starr King. These luncheons are really fun and interesting, because our newer members have many gifts and thoughtful perspectives. As a congregation, we have so much human bounty for which to be grateful. Gratitude was alive among us today!
I have a number of goals I’d like to pursue while I’m entrusted with our Board Presidency; I’ll be discussing those here over the months ahead. What I’d like to mention this month is Reverend Katie’s upcoming 12-week Sabbatical at the beginning of 2012. A periodic Sabbatical is important in supporting the growth, learning and rejuvenation of our professional clergy, here and elsewhere.
Reverend Katie will bring back to us what she finds during her absence from our pulpit and we will be the better for it. But I also see her time away as OUR Sabbatical, OUR time of learning, OUR opportunity to grow in a special way. Our creative and diligent Worship Committee is already well-along in planning for pulpit speakers and Sunday morning programs, and we will be searching for other ways to augment our worship, our time together as we begin a New Year. We will be brain-storming and planning in the coming months to make this a rich, thoughtful and spiritually engaged Sabbatical period at Starr King. If you have ideas about a special programmatic focus YOU envision for this Time of Learning and Communion, please let me know of them, and we will create something we love.
Best wishes for your respective summers, and thank you again for your support of our Board of Trustees, Committee on Ministry, Religious Exploration, one another, and our common search for meaning. May we thrive!