Dear Members and Friends of UU Westport,
We enter a season of transitions: getting back to school, re-creating routines, and, here at UU Westport, launching a new worship year. As many go back to school, it’s also a great time to go back to church—to gather again with your congregation.
“Transition” refers to the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another. Many of you are in transition and your congregation is in a major transition, and this congregation is amidst a significant transition, a transition that shall be shaped by those who care for this community and all who choose to show up. Please know your presence in worship and community events makes a difference—especially in times of transition.
This Sunday, September 10, I encourage all families to bring your children! I will include our young people in the homecoming ritual that occurs outside the sanctuary as the service’s beginning.
Following the service, gather for our family-friendly All-Congregation reception! Hot dogs, including vegan dogs, will be grilled on-site. If you’re able, bring a dish to share. If not, come anyway!
I meant to get the following out last week, but the delay doesn’t reflect my deep gratitude for the warmest of welcomes I received August 18-28. I want to thank all of you who made my first ten days among you in person so meaningful and engaging. A special thank-you to Jen Gerometta for coordinating my schedule—the busiest, most engaging ten days of my career! I met with leaders, staff members, teams, and individuals. I was delighted to squeeze in a visit with Rev. Frank Hall with whom I now have the joy of being acquainted.
I am also appreciative of Terri Laug, Mike Roman, Ruth Fontilla and Cheryl Dixon who created a new design for the minister’s office. It is absolutely beautiful. I feel truly welcomed — I look forward to welcoming many of you to this space, whether for pastoral support, a team meeting, or planning a wedding, memorial, child dedication, or other special ceremony. When I am not in Westport and there is a shortage of space, my office is available for committees and teams to meet.
Another thank-you to all who made the Saturday evening reception so special. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet so many of you. I look forward to getting more acquainted. I will be among you in person September 7-17 and September 22-October 2. I will be in person all four of the next Sundays. The mid-September visit is already filling up with appointments, but I will hold multiple gatherings for people who would like to meet with me in groups during the late September visit.
I am also grateful to Rev. Debra Haffner, Lynda Shannon Bluestein, and David Connell who led deeply moving worship services—it was an honor to participate in them. And I am grateful to Linda Lubin and the women’s group that put together the Water Communion service this past weekend. I was able to join you through Livestream and was deeply touched — and I recognized a good number of you! I hadn’t known the origins of the uniquely Unitarian Universalist Water Communion, though I’ve long been grateful how the women’s spirituality movement has impacted UU culture over the last 45 years.
My heart is full of gratitude, and I so look forward to commencing the new worship year this Sunday. I’m calling the homecoming service “Coming Home.” May it be a meaningful homecoming for many of you just as I shall be coming home vocationally and spiritually as I accompany your congregation through your ministerial transition.
PS A poem about transition:
may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that