The Blessings of Change

I love change, don’t you? Something new can be exciting. Trying something we’ve never tried before, experimenting, playing around — what fun! Especially when life seems stagnant or stale, change feels like a breath of fresh air.

On the other hand, I hate change. Don’t you? Just when it seems like everything is going along well and we’re comfortable, something changes and it’s a real bother. It’s uncomfortable — we feel out of sorts, grumpy and anxious. Change is risky — what if we don’t like the new way? What if we can’t go back to the old way?

In this Soul Matters month dedicated to being “A People of Blessing,” we are getting a big dose of the blessing of CHANGE at UUCW. Not only are we moving steadily forward in the planning of building renovations via the Build 2020 process, we’re also losing two beloved staff members! At the end of June, Maria O’Connor, our longtime Director of Religious Education, is retiring, and the Rev. Joyce Palmer, our wonderful Assistant Minster, is moving to Illinois to be closer to her family.

That’s a lot of change. So, if you’re suddenly feeling uncertainty and ambiguity — there’s a good reason! Change is unsettling. There are some changes that happen quickly and easily, of course. They are like turning on a faucet — a twist of the wrist and we go from dry to wet in a flash (splash)! But more significant life changes are rarely clear-cut. Leaving a job for a new one involves uncertainty along the way. Entering into a relationship, or leaving one, can be fraught with confusing feelings and struggle. It doesn’t matter whether a change is positive or negative — it can be uncomfortable, scary, and anxiety-producing because we feel out of control.

Information is often the life preserver we cling to when we feel uncertain. And we want you to have the information you need to help you feel confident about UUCW during our change processes!

In the area of church staffing, we are currently seeking an Acting Assistant Minister (full-time) for Lifespan Religious Education — a person who will work with us for at least a year, helping us manage and sustain our current religious education programs and adult faith formation offerings, while aiding our reflection on what we offer as we envision religious education and faith formation across the lifespan for 21st-century families! We also plan to hire a “programs assistant” who will help us stay organized and manage our systems for pastoral care and caring community. But as we begin publicizing these openings and we see who applies, our plans may change.

In the Build 2020 area, we are in the process of confirming our working relationship with Plunkett Raysich Architects (PRA), and when that is finalized, the Build 2020 Team will move into the design phase with PRA.

The Board, staff and I will do our very best to keep you apprised of progress in these areas as we roll forward through the summer. In the meantime, please do ask questions and keep in touch. UUCW needs your caring, your involvement and your bright human presence as we navigate these “blessings of change” on our shared journey.

With joy in the present and faith in our future,

The Rev. Suzelle Lynch, Minister