“This is my last…” of so many things. My last newsletter article to you, my last month in the pulpit, my last Christmas Eve worship service—the list is long.
I have learned so much from you: Your eagerness and willingness to be engaged in the community, to make the world better, to make UU Fellowship of Durango the hub for social justice in Durango and La Plata county; your dedication to growing the congregation by having a healthy and robust governance structure (a congregation can’t grow when its structure is too small); your caring and compassion for each other’s health and spiritual well-being (you are kind to each other); your dedication to making worship a vital opportunity for growth, beauty and acknowledgment of the struggle in the world. And your love of music is right up my alley!
You are a gift to the world. I hope you remember that. As Marianne Williamson once said, “Your playing small does not serve the world.” My hope for this congregation is that it continues to grow as a beacon that shines brightly in the Four Corners. As for me, I’m not exactly sure what will happen next. As I told you in September, I need some time to rest. The pandemic has moved ministry from an ordinarily ongoing never-ending role into all those things plus a constantly shifting, changing, foreseeing kind of life. I’ll need some time to take stock. And you will, too.
Our relationship will change. My long time colleagues, the Revs. Bill and Barbara Hamilton-Holway, who retired a while ago, modeled a beautiful thing they called “the ministry of absence.” I’ll be doing the same. In keeping with the UU Ministry Guidelines to which I covenant, I’ll be away from the congregation for at least two years. This allows time for each of us to do our work, and for me it will be a ministry of absence. When I see you in the grocery store, or up at the Concert Hall, I will offer a warm hello, and will ask how you are doing, but I won’t be asking about UUFD. I will keep you all in my heart, for you are a good gift.
Remember, together, we are…
ALWAYS in the love,