Dear UUCLB Community,
It’s such a an absolute joy and pleasure to be joining you as Settled Ministry after the many months since Candidating week in April and early May.
I am in awe of the enormous heavy lifting that it has taken on all of our parts for us to begin this ministry relationship in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. This has been no small feat! Through an outpouring of generosity we’ve made it! I so deeply appreciate the wonderful welcome you have given me. I feel very much at home here. And I am as eager as you are to make plans together and begin doing all of the exciting things we have been dreaming about. We are all bubbling with new ideas and thoughts about the future. So what do we do first? In a wonderful essay from author Alice Walker, she names a spiritual phenomenon of time she calls “THE PAUSE”. She describes the pause as:
The moment when something major is accomplished and we are so relieved that we are already rushing, at least mentally, into The Future. Wisdom, however, requests a pause. If we cannot give ourselves such a pause, the Universe will likely give it to us. And we find ourselves required to stop, to sit down, to reflect. This is the time of the universal place of stopping. The universal moment of reflection. As a culture we are not in the habit of respecting, honoring, or even acknowledging the pause. The pause is a good time to listen, once you have inhabited Silence for long enough to find it comfortable. Even blissful. I have been thinking a lot about “the pause” these days.
As we have just accomplished this big and wonderful feat of beginning, it feels right and important to embrace the wisdom of the pause to help us to ease into our relationship with one another this fall. At the beginning of this intense roller coaster of a summer, I think many of us had hoped that when we started together in the fall, things would be approaching being back to a certain kind of social or economic normal. We hoped we would be able to resume in person activities, programs and worship services. We know sadly now that a kind of normalcy is still far off, and that we will continue our social distancing and do all we can to fight the spread of Covid-19 for at least another six months. This is the right thing to do for us to take care of each other and ensure that our community stays as safe and healthy as is possible.
We may not be meeting in person, but our church community is strong, creative, and resilient. As the fall begins, full of the bustling energy of back to school and back to church, I want to invite each of you to take a pause and reflect on the last six months, to take some deep breaths and remember the hardest moments as well as the most joyful moments. I invite you to think about how this church — our programs, our Sunday mornings and our people — can truly be of service to each other and to our larger world in this ongoing public health crisis. What can we offer to each other to bring more joy, more meaning, more support to one another? What might we let go of that might have served us in the past but is no longer needed for this moment, and what new things might we want to try? Finally, I want to invite you into pausing as a regular practice in your life. Give yourself permission to pause, to reflect, to rest. The journey ahead may be longer and harder than we thought, but we are all in this together.
Rev. Lissa’s “office hours” for appointments are Wednesday and Thursday 10:30-1:15 pm.
Please feel free to call or text Rev. Lissa to say hello or to set up an appointment. You can even text her Water Communion photos!
(This message was written by Rev. Lissa for the September 2020 Advance.)