Dear Starr King,
This is my last newsletter column I will write to you all, Starr King Church. Thank you for such a wonderful two years of ministry together. While I am excited to begin my next chapter as a full time parish minister, I am sad to be leaving Starr King.
In Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s book Gift from the Sea, she talks about wanting to live a life “in grace.” She writes:”I believe most people are aware of periods in their lives when they seem to be “in grace” and other periods when they feel “out of grace,” even though they may use different words to describe these states. In the first happy condition, one seems to carry all one’s tasks before one lightly, as if borne along on a great tide; and in the opposite state one can hardly tie a shoe-string.”
Reflecting on my time at Starr King, I can say that we have done the work of Family MInistry and Religious exploration together, in a state of grace– things have seemed to flow. But why and how did this grace happen? Why did things seem to flow? While some of the ingredients to our synergy these past two years is pure luck, I think some of our ‘ingredients for grace’ had to do with a willingness to be our authentic selves with one another. And to be authentic, to show our full humanity, feels awfully vulnerable. Why are humans the most dangerous animals? Because in order to live the fulfilling lives we strive for, we must risk deep human relationship. And human relationships are not predictable, nor do they last forever. Like tides of the ocean, relationships ebb and flow. When it is time to say goodbye, we grieve. And we must grieve in a broader culture that does not create space for grief. We must grieve in a culture which tries to make all that feels good last forever. But church is the place where it is okay to say goodbye. Where it is okay to create space for the natural and healthy ebbs and flows. Humans are the most dangerous kind of animals because how deeply we can feel and how deeply we are connected. (Okay, and yes, we are the most dangerous because of how much carbon dioxide we pump into the atmosphere– I don’t want to be TOO poetic).
Thank you for two years of deep and authentic shared ministry together. This congregation ordained me into ministry and you will always hold a particular place in my heart and in my ministry. Goodbye and peace be with you on this next chapter of your, Starr King Church’s, Unitarian Universalist ministry.