One year ago today I began my new position here at First Parish. I remember many things so clearly: Bob Coughlin’s welcoming smile and the air conditioner already on in my office…the beautiful prayer plant which the staff had purchased for me…the sounds of children playing throughout the building…and my excitement about finally beginning the ministry to which I am called.
It was a full opening month, as I welcomed many parishioners into my office or met with folks at Panera. I loved those meetings as I listened and learned about you, as I received the books you had written, and learned of the love you have for First Parish. This August I would welcome more meetings, for I know that I have not had the chance to sit down with every member of this congregation. If you have an extra 30 minutes and would be willing, please email me and make an appointment. I want to continue to get to know you all, and hear about not just your memories and points of intersection with the congregation, but your hopes and dreams of what we can do together. For we are all called to bring our ministry into the wider world, and I would value hearing about how you do that in your life, or what you think we should be doing to build up our Unitarian Universalists values in the world around us.
I wish you many warm and wonderful days in the weeks to come, and if you are lucky enough to find yourself near a body of water, I share this poem by Elizabeth Smither:
The sea question
The sea asks “How is your life now?”
It does so obliquely, changing colour.
It is never the same on any two visits.
It is never the same in any particular
Only in generalities: tide and such matters
Wave height and suction, pebbles that rattle.
It doesn’t presume to wear a white coat
But it questions you like a psychologist
As you walk beside it on its long couch