Today, the staff and I had our final staff lunch with Reverend Suzelle. It was a day full of fun conversations, the heaviness of goodbye, and the continuation of church business. In the last three months since Reverend Suzelle announced she would be moving on to new adventures, I have felt joyful she would be getting a break and I will miss co-ministering. These last few months have been in a whirlwind of wondering and planning. I call these: BOTH- AND moments. It is both joyful and anxious. It is exciting and we are resilient. It is a time of so many complexities that I always remind myself, it is a BOTH – AND time.

The Stewardship Team has been very hard at work discerning how we think about money at UUCW, how we communicate our needs, and how we ask for what we need. I am intrigued and excited about the direction they are going. In the coming month, you will hear about the campaign they are planning. They are focusing on ways we can be Together for Joy. New this year, will create joyful ways to deepen our spirituality and to connect deeply as we steward this congregation. It is an exciting time for us and Unitarian Universalism as we dive into this new era of in-person and online community.

The staff has been working to do far more in terms of programming worship for in-person, re-opening, closing, online, learning so much about copyright, streaming, and multi-platform programming. They are doing it with fewer resources than in past years. I am working with them to look at longer-term planning, considering what is sustainable, possible and rewarding. I hope you can join me in appreciating our staff. Send them a card or share a kind thought if it crosses your mind. Congregational transitions often last a few years and our staff feels all the complexities of that each day, while also trying to make this the best spiritual home for you. I am so grateful they are here to help me, as we move into this liminal changing and exciting time.

Our Lay Pastoral Care team has some exciting news they will be sharing soon too. The uptick in pastoral needs the congregation has had has been significant. This team has not only partnered with your ministers, and one another, they have sought out more training, and improved key processes to address the magnitude of losses, trauma, and tenderness our congregation has faced.

Next week I will be attending the UUMA – our minister’s association Institute for our education. I am taking the spirituality track and looking forward to what I will be bringing us back. I know we will be taking deep dives into accompanying our communities through all the loss and grief in a pandemic but also how to do we build up the spiritual side of our practices to be resilient and even thrive. I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

See you Sunday, February 6 for our worship on Emergent Strategies. It is a form of being and leadership that is modeled on patterns in nature. I invite you to join me online to discuss the service theme afterward on Zoom. Perhaps we could also share joys and concerns at that time.

“A Chat with Rev. Denise”
Online on Sunday, February 6th at 11:30 am
Zoom Link

 Warm regards,

Reverend Denise