Each person and thing we have loved leaves its mark on us, and we on it. We forever become part of one another, affecting each other in ways that often continue to unfold for years. Even when we will not see each other anymore, this remains. As does the truth that each goodbye, each loss, stirs up memories and feelings of goodbyes and losses that have gone before. Sadness is a natural part of goodbyes of all kinds.
And so, as the calendar turns to June, the time for me to leave WUUC has come. This is the nature of interim ministry, and this goodbye that we are sharing creates space for the hello you will share in a couple months with Minister Dan. Yet, while this leave-taking is part of the nature of interim ministry, it is made harder by Covid-19. I feel this powerfully. We don’t get to say goodbye with the hugs and pats on the arm that are so meaningful to us.
I’ve been working with WUUC’s Transitions Team and Board of Trustees on what our goodbyes can look like. The article below this gives some options that I hope you’ll engage with so we can say our goodbyes in the ways that feel right for each of you. In addition, I’m creating a reverse offering of blessing cards. From June 6-28 these will be available outside WUUC’s front doors. If you come to pick one up, please only touch the one you take, not others, to limit the chance of spreading Covid-19.
My final worship service with you will be on June 14. During that service we’ll engage in a ritual of parting. After that I’ll be on call from June 15-28 while I take vacation to pack and attend General Assembly and Ministry Days. My goodbye party, which will include Zoom and drive-by elements, will be on June 28.
On June 28, I’ll also be “unfriending” any of you who have friended me on Facebook and discontinuing my WUUC email address. As part of my ministerial agreements it’s important that I not have contact with the congregation for two years. This doesn’t mean that if you see me at General Assembly or on the street that you’ll need to ignore me, but it does mean that I’ll be out of touch unless Minister Dan and I explicitly agree otherwise. My absence will be important to allow WUUC to build a relationship with your next minister. This doesn’t mean that I don’t still love you, think about you, and hold you in my heart and prayers. I do and I will.
As I take leave, and as we move through this leave-taking process together, how we each do this and how we create space for what comes next for you is my final blessing for you as your minister. You have done deep, loving, remarkable work these past two years. And in doing so you’ve created space for new opportunities to take root and flourish for your congregation and strength to move through the challenges of this pandemic caring for each other and those in the broader community.
May you live Love ever more fully and fiercely into the world.
Love and Blessings,