These minister messages began in part as answers to the “Question Box” sermon long before the pandemic struck. These were not answered in the service itself. One of those questions was “What’s your favorite part about being our minister?”
It’s a great question and one I think about often. Let me start by saying what an honor and privilege it is to serve as your Senior Minister. I consider this congregation to be one of the most interesting and motivated congregations in all of the UUA. Not only am I challenged to help lead us into a new future, your commitment to that journey is amazing. Rev. Shelly calls you all “professional congregants” by which she means you are so dedicated, not only to our mission but to achieving our ends in the most effective way possible. All the ministers feel so blessed to work with you in this ministry.
More specifically, I love the opportunity to preach and teach. Preaching is an art form that is usually honed after years in the pulpit. Because you have such a rich tradition of fine preaching by my predecessor and your Minister Emeritus, Rev. Frank Hall, you have been receptive and responsive to what I offer you. It is a gift to stand before you each week and offer my humble perspective on our faith and life. Teaching is also a love that I am fortunate to be able to offer you. Our work in developing our Adult Faith Formation will provide me with years of satisfaction as we become a center for learning and liberation.
I am honored to work with an amazing staff of people, some paid, some volunteer, all ministers with me in this sacred work we do. I rely on them for so much. Most of you may not know all that they do to reach out to us collectively. Our success in weathering this pandemic is due largely to them – from the technology to the pastoral care.
It is my joy to work with Rev. Ed Thompson. His gifts as a minister of music and his pastoral skills are one of the major reasons I am with you now. He continues to amaze and teach me in the art of ministry and the transformative power of music.
And of course, all the other leaders of this church make my ministry so fulfilling. From Social Action to Faith Formation, it is the people I work with who help me wake up each day and say yes to this calling.
When the Search Committee and then the Board of Trustees decided to migrate to adapted Policy Governance and asked me if I would be willing to serve in the role of Senior Minister and CEO, I didn’t hesitate to say “yes!” While being CEO has its challenges (and believe me it’s not a ‘power trip’), I have relished the cooperative and empowering ethos of this congregation. We are truly all in this together.
We will pivot to a new reality. I am confident we will not only survive but thrive. And I am so thankful I am a part of our transformation.