Greetings fellow UUCW congregants,
We on the Ministerial Search Team hope you are finding yourselves well in 2030. As you remember, back in early 2024 we were on the cusp of change; as a world, as a country and as a community. The wars in the middle east and Ukraine seem to have little chance to end quickly. The political situation in the U.S. is quite shaky. We don’t know if we are at the end or in the middle of some troubling times. Locally, we look at the inequalities we see, from the hatred spewed by some towards those they perceive as ‘others’, to the growing income and wealth disparity, to the segregation we see in the housing in Milwaukee, and we long for change. But you, of course, know that now.
As a religious community, we are also on the cusp of a change. We are two years past the departure of our beloved Rev. Suzelle. Rev. Jullan has expertly guided us through our grief and made us realize (or perhaps realize again) that ‘We are the Church’, that we are the ones to guide ourselves and decide what we want to be as a congregation. This is the setting that the six of us were in as we set out to search for our next settled minister. But again, you know that now.
You might recall that as a Team we began by gathering information, insight and desires from all of you about the type of minister you desired for our next ministerial leader. Through focus groups, cottage meetings and a congregational survey, we heard you. We heard that you wanted an inspirational preacher who would help us grow spiritually, both collectively and individually. We heard that you wanted someone for whom social justice and the actions needed to promote it were not just words from the pulpit. We heard that you wanted an intellectual leader who was also empathetic and engaging personally. But of course, you have that now.
As we sit here in February of 2024, we are still awaiting that big change. As a Search Team, at this point in time, we are reminded of a quote from Lao Tzu
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
We hope you understand the UUA process we covenanted to follow is a process that is both fair and confidential, to both the ministers and the congregations. So, while we on the Search Team are meeting our top candidates and hearing them lead a service at another church, you are left wondering and anxious about the change. We hope that you are able to take Lao Tzu’s message to heart and let the change flow naturally.
We are certain that you recall that week in late April 2024 when your minister was in the UUCW pulpit for the first time. That first Sunday when you first heard them preach. That next week as you got to know them through the various events several of you helped arrange. That second Sunday when they took to the pulpit again. And lastly, that congregational meeting that followed the service where you used the power and responsibility of being a member of UUCW and cast your vote in our process of calling a settled minister to chart the future of our beloved community. We hope that you look back fondly on the butterflies in your stomachs as the nervous energy rose through the room, change is like that. Let it flow naturally. Forward.
With grace from the past Search Team