We were looking forward to a visit from our Partner Church friends, but plans have changed. The minister, Mihaly, (pronounced me’-high) his wife, Elizabeth, and a young couple from their congregation, Gizeke (pronounced giz’-ee-kay) and Istvan were scheduled to come to Westport in early May.
They all had difficulty getting a visa. With help from our Partner Church Council, Mihaly and Elizabeth were able to get visas, but Gizeke and Istvan did not. Gizeke translates for them, so it would have been difficult for Mihaly and Elizabeth to be here for ten days without a translator.
They’ve appealed and we’re hoping that all the visas will be in hand soon. In any case, Mihaly and Elizabeth decided to postpone their visit until October. If the others don’t get a U.S. visa, we’ll get translators to be with them during their visit with us.
This coming weekend I’ll be traveling to Boston, Lexington and Concord with our Coming of Age class. I’ve been meeting with them in small groups on Sunday afternoons. There’s just too many to meet in the large group all at once.
Each year at the annual meeting of the New York Metro District Minister’s Association one of our colleagues is asked to share his or her odyssey-a summary of the journey into our Unitarian Universalist ministry.
I was honored to be asked this year. I’ve been working on it. There are lots of stories to tell, of course, some of which took place here in Westport during the past 20 years. But I find myself focusing on the early years, in the churches I served in Wellesley Hills, Lexington and Attleboro.
Even more specifically, most of what I’ll share with my colleagues will be about one-to-one relationships with individual people who influenced me so powerfully, especially in those early years. Most of what we call ministry happens in those personal relationships.
From time to time I’ve told you about some of the people who challenged me, who encouraged me, and whose patience, trust and forgiveness allowed me to live these years into ministry. That’s how it happens, really. We’re always in the process of becoming.
I’ve also been asked to prepare and deliver a lecture at Chautauqua for the Unitarian ethics series this summer. They told me to choose a topic that’s of interest to me. I’m working on a lecture on the ethics of humor. I will assert that a well-developed sense of humor is a moral imperative, right up there with virtues like honesty and loyalty.
I’ve been spending a lot of time with my fingers on home row. I hope you’re enjoying spring.