Hello Woodinville Unitarian Universalist Church! It is so good to (finally!) be here with you all!

It has been quite a transition for my family and me over the last few months. Since being called as your settled minister back in May, we have been packing our house, making moving arrangements, and saying our goodbyes to our family and community in Albuquerque. Then we hit the road, traveling almost 2,000 miles in a car filled with two adult humans, one tiny human, and two dogs. And once we arrived, we immediately began the search for our Washington home. It has been a physically- and emotionally-draining process.

How appropriate that our worship theme for the month of September is Renewal. Amidst all of this transitioning, I’m finding what is sustaining me is the constant feeling of gratitude I have. Gratitude for everyone in Albuquerque who helped us in so many ways and wished us well on our way; gratitude for all of the kind people that supported us during our trip to make our journey as safe and comfortable as possible; and gratitude for you, the WUUC community, and the warm welcome we received from you. From the custom paint color in my new office, to the welcome gifts on my desk, to the meals waiting for us in the fridge and freezer, to the greeting cards I’ve received in the mail, I’ve been met at every turn with kindness, warmth, and generosity. For all of these things, I’m filled with a feeling of gratitude that makes my heart happy; and this gratitude renews and sustains me.

I’m certainly not the only one to face energy-draining circumstances. All of us have challenges, obstacles, and stressors that wear us down, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Yet throughout my life, I have found community (and gratitude for those in it) has been a source of renewal for me, time and time again.

I wonder, where do you find renewal? What makes your heart happy?

I invite you to take some time to consider these questions. Perhaps meditate or pray about them.

As you reflect, I’ll leave you with one more thing I’m grateful for: that our journey together has officially begun. We are now on our way, as congregation and minister. May we be faithful companions as we serve, learn, and grow together.

Peace and Blessings,