Andy’s Flaming Chalice – September 2012

Greetings! Many of you will have had the opportunity by now to greet and welcome two special people to our congregational life: Ministerial Intern Roy King and Director of Religious Exploration Darcy Baxter. They both took up the reins of their new roles in mid-August. They come with splendid talents and we are delighted that they’re joining our Starr King family. If you haven’t met Roy or Darcy, please seek them out for a conversation, offer your support and make them feel at home!

I want to use this month’s column to offer an appreciation of our dear Starr King UU Church community member Meg Jurich, who died recently. For those privileged to know Meg at Starr King, it is a loss which still feels immediate. Yet it is also a very special opportunity to witness how being in community with others who share a loss is a comfort and balm. I am glad to be among you. I am glad we are together.

Meg once told me that she and Mark came to Starr King many years ago so daughter Amanda could participate in our religious exploration program. How fortunate for us that they did! In the years afterward, Meg gave back so much to Starr King. She served on the Board of Trustees and went on to be Vice-President and President, during a time when our extensive building renovation was being planned and executed, and she served on the committee overseeing the project with great dedication. She felt it incumbent upon her, in her role as a Trustee, to contemplate and understand the nature(s) of good leadership, because she took being a leader seriously.

Meg was an important part of bringing Shared Ministry concepts to the “front burner” of our congregational life and awareness. She dug deep to understand the role of the Board of Trustees in church governance. Her ethical vision enabled her to lead transparently and collaboratively; to defer in some cases and defend prerogatives in others; and to dialogue honestly. Meg brought this same seriousness to her work on the Family Emergency Shelter Coalition (FESCO) Board, as a representative of our congregation. She truly was a faithful servant of our community — aware, responsible and always supplying wisdom and perspective.

Meg also had a very reliable sense of humor, real curiosity about other people and was a warm and caring friend. Like many here, I feel that she is gone too soon and it is a great disappointment to lose her. Like many here, I also feel enriched by having known and worked and worshiped with her. This is a gift I will always treasure, which has not been taken away. Our hearts are with Mark, Amanda, son-in-law Ben and granddaughter Eliza, as well as Meg’s many saddened friends.