This is an important moment in the life of this Fellowship, and I am glad to be part of it. It was only about a year ago that Dawn Daniels, your former minister, ended her ministry. You had a congregation-wide discussion about what you wanted next, and moved to hire a full-time minister. This decision increases the budget substantially, and right now the congregation is being asked to make financial pledges for the coming year to support the new budget.
Looking ahead, then, I think the questions for this Fellowship are: What do you get from having a full-time minister that you didn’t have with a part-time minister? What are the priorities for this Fellowship going forward—social justice? religious education for children and youth? adult religious education programs? increased membership?
I look forward to having these conversations with you about going forward. As I look back on the past six months, here are some of the highlights for me:
As a religious community, we grieve our dead together. I saw this in our Day of the Dead service in November when we added leaves to the Tree of Life monument in the building, honoring members who died during the past year. I saw this when we had a memorial service for Bob McBride earlier this month.
This Fellowship supports one another. Again and again during joys and sorrows on Sunday mornings I see heartfelt testimonials about all of life’s challenges: physical illness, mental illness, family struggles, job and money struggles. I see love and support every time.
This Fellowship cares about social justice. People are drawn to our fellowship by the Black Lives Matter banner and the rainbow flag. In January we had a retreat to prioritize two other social justice issues: the environment and voting rights. In November we held a Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremony that brought in diverse members of the community.
We welcome people just as they are. I have heard many people say that they feel at home and safe in the UUFCM community in a way that they don’t feel welcomed or safe any other place in their lives. That is the powerful magic that keeps me coming back to Unitarian Universalism and to this Fellowship. That is the life-saving, life-changing magic that I want to keep nourishing.
I feel blessed and grateful to serve this Fellowship as minister. The first six months have been wonderful and I look forward to our time ahead: challenges, joys, and all.
Spirit of Life and Love,
May this Fellowship thrive in the months and years to come. May all who associate with this Fellowship, as visitors, friends, or members, be blessed and strengthened by being here. May all feel welcome here.
May this Fellowship continue to be a place where people question and challenge and grow. Where people feel safe enough to be vulnerable and accept care and love from one another. where people feel welcome and safe, just as they are, no matter who they are.
Amen. Aho. Blessed Be.