From Your Minister of Education and Outreach
It is the new year and with it comes new opportunities!! I am excited to be joining you, however briefly, as the Minister of Education and Outreach. As such, I plan to reach out to those among you involved in these areas to learn more about existing programs. I look forward to those conversations and welcome suggestions about how we can strengthen our educational offerings and outreach in the community.
These two areas are critical to a healthy congregation. Education, which I use loosely here to mean a chance to grow in knowledge as well as spirit, offers us an opportunity to deepen our connections to self and others. Outreach allows us to live into our deepest convictions thereby helping the wider world and expanding our own horizons. I look forward to working with you in these capacities.
These are the stated objectives of my time with you. However, I believe there is a deeper level and a deeper work to be engaged. This community has had a difficult year. It is my sincere hope that we can find ways to soothe our hurts and begin the process of healing. To that end, I encourage all of us to do the spiritual work that is involved, whether it is listening more deeply to someone whose opinion differs from our own, or consciously making a decision to “let go” of the past and open ourselves to the possibilities of the future.
This is not easy work. In fact, it may be the hardest work we ever do. I preached a sermon some time ago about about how it is often easier to be right than it is to be kind. Holding on to “right” (and righteous anger) is often our first response—and I am speaking from my own experience for sure. As good as it can feel to be “right”, I have learned that it can also lead us to cutting ourselves off from one another thereby ensuring the wound does not heal.
It would be my hope that we genuinely engage our hurt places. We will not do it perfectly, sometimes we won’t even do it well; making the effort does not even guarantee that we move forward together. But I do believe that it leads to a deeper healing and prepares us more fully for whatever comes next in our lives.
I will do my best to support you during this time of transition and re-grounding. Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your community and your spiritual journey.
May the road rise to meet us and the sun shine warm upon our faces,