I feel so very blessed to have served as your minister for the past 17.5 years (and – at 1/15/22, I celebrated 27 years in our professional UU ministry!). I am proud of our long and productive shared ministry. I’m grateful to have been a part of your lives – through so many joys and challenges and milestones. I’m so happy about all the accomplishments our congregation has made over the years – but even happier for the simple, easy, daily things that make up church life. UUCW is a wonderful congregation, and I love you very much.
I’ve been cleaning out my office over the past two weeks – more to go and time is short! Twenty-seven years’ worth of sermons and notes and resources is a LOT to sort through. But it’s deeply pleasurable, in a sweet-and-sad way. For in those files are the memorial services I conducted for your loved ones. The child dedication ceremonies. The letters and emails from members who were thrilled to find UUCW, and some from those who were upset with us – or with me. There are many layers of life in my office, and with each one I release to the recycling bin, there is a loving moment of remembrance and a sweet sense of release.
I have full faith that UUCW will continue on its graceful path of spirituality, learning, and justice. I know YOU will be well-served by Rev. Denise Cawley and that you will work hand-in-hand with her through the next half-year to help restore systems and practices that the pandemic undercut. Rev. Denise is a wonderful minister – and I know she truly loves working with you, listening to you, and learning together.
If you’re tempted to sit back and wait to see what happens over the coming months or year – I invite you to step up to the plate instead! We’ve said it many times, “there is no church without its people…” UUCW is all of our people, working together, and your energy and ideas and caring are what have always made it great. You are the ones who can power UUCW into the future.
I’ll be gone as your future unfolds – it feels so strange to say that. But I’m grateful to know my ministry among you has been deeply good and impactful. I will carry you always in my heart, and I will watch from afar with joy as I hear of all your wonderful “doings.”
As I write this column, I have four more days at UUCW – and so much to do! I’m looking forward to Sunday and sharing some final thoughts with you, and a song I’ve written for you. It’s a goodbye song – and a love song. I have a gift to give UUCW, too – and something especially for our UUCW families with children.
But for now – a grateful goodbye. Thanks for being such a wonderful congregation, and sharing your lives and your ministry with me.
Rev. Suzelle Lynch