A Letter from your Minister — June 2021

Minister's Letter

At times out own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. 
Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.
~Albert Schweitzer

Dear Church Family, Near and Far,
Welcome to the month of June and to our monthly theme of Deepening the Care of the Soul. This is the perfect theme for a month filled with transition. Some of our youth have graduated college or high school. Some are headed to college for the first time, others are returning for a final semester, and some are moving out on their own. Here at Piedmont, we bid farewell to our beloved intern who came to us as “Holly Brown” and who leaves us as “The Reverend Holly Brown.” On the heels of Rev. Holly’s departure, I will be saying goodbye as well.
When the letter went out on Sunday noting that my ministry at PUUC would end in late June due to medical reasons, several people responded to that email–some of whom I’ve never met. Kind words were offered from people who watch our services faithfully from afar and sometimes after Sunday mornings. I rejoice in sharing the good news that our ministry extends beyond what we know–to former members who are still with us in spirit and online, to former in-person visitors who have moved across country, and to people we haven’t met yet who know who we are! We have a greater impact than we realize. We always have an impact on others–as a church, as two Gatherings in two very different cities, and as individuals, but I wanted you to know that people you never see are watching and being nurtured by this ministry.
It was encouraging to receive those messages, and I hope it encourages you as well. So, keep shining. Keep shining the light you may not have realized extended so far–to people who appreciate this church and our services, to people we may never see in person. Keep shining as you speak on the phone, enter Zoom meetings, or meet with family and friends. Keep shining during moments when your light may feel very dim to you–or when you think the spark has gone out; do not fear. A nearby someone will be eager to help rekindle that light. Keep shining as you talk about your vision for this beloved community.
I will miss you very much, dear staff and church community. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to have served this church in varying capacities since 2014. Please be sure to thank our amazing staff for the lights they shine and the services they provide. Reach out to Rev. Holly at their farewell Zoom or park fellowship to honor their time with us and offer thanks. Thank our musicians and teams and committees and board and notice the reflection of your own light in the faces of those you interact with. Stay tuned for information on a final service from me the first weekend of July as well as a Zoom celebration.
Look for the light. In a world that offers many things that distract our hearts and minds from what is good and right and beautiful, look for the light. Shine the light of truth and justice on what needs to change. And don’t forget that as you seek the light, you are part of that great light. And through you, revolutionary love will transform you, those around you, and eventually, the Earth on which we dwell.
May that be so. And during this month of Deepening the Care of the Soul, find ways to nurture yours and others’ spirits, and take good care of you and of our Beloved Community as we face changes (aka opportunities). All you need is courage, kindness, and a spirit of calm. You have plenty of courage and kindness, and if there are moments when the calm feels “iffy,” just look to that light, take some deep and cleansing breaths, and concentrate on our mission to radiate love. All will be well.
Being your minister has been the honor of a lifetime.
With much love and appreciation, I will continue to hold you in my heart and wish you many blessings on your journey,
~Mary Frances