Rest, Recharge and Restore —
I said it on Sunday, but It bears repeating that one of my favorite places is to be is behind the pulpit at Unity Temple looking out at the wonderful people of our gathered beloved community. It felt great to back there with so many of you, getting to provide a little support for Choir Sunday, which is always a wonderful occurrence. This Sunday, though, seemed particularly glorious—the Considering Matthew Shepard choral suite was just so heartbreakingly beautiful and moving. I’m so glad I got to be present and soak it all in—the music, the words, the people, the feeling of being back amongst you, the pride flags, the message of love. What a gift.
It was also a gift to have a six month sabbatical in which to rest, recharge, and restore my mind and body and soul. It is, of course, standard practice for Unitarian Universalist congregations to provide ministers one month of sabbatical leave per year of service, granted after the sixth year of service, and still, it feels slightly miraculous to have had that time. In part it feels this way, because our capitalist culture (generally speaking) isn’t particularly good at valuing regular rest and self-care over productivity and the bottom line. And yet this kind of time is always a good thing.
In the chaos and busyness of this past Sunday morning, I shared snippets of how I spent my time with some of you, and some of you did the same with me. I look forward to more of that unfolding in the weeks and months to come. (I will be preaching on April 16.) I’m getting back to a regular work schedule, albeit with fresh perspective and a renewed spirit, so some of that will happen as I re-engage in regularly scheduled meetings.
I really appreciated the spaciousness of so much unscheduled time, so that I could read and read, or work on puzzle after puzzle, or walk and walk, or visit this museum or listen to that podcast, among other things. The days felt full and now, at the end of that time, it seems like much happened in those six months. You may feel the same. And I missed you. I’d love to hear your stories, to connect or re-connect after this time apart. Please feel free to catch me in person whenever we see each other, or reach out to schedule a conversation if you’d like to spend some time getting caught up and/or looking forward to something new.
Unitarian Universalism saves lives. Unitarian Universalist communities save lives. I’ve seen it time and time again, and I thought of it on Sunday morning as our congregation and choir bore witness to a powerful message of love and acceptance. A message that stands in contrast to so many messages and practices and laws around us these days. Flags hanging around our building on Sunday reminded us: “Your silence will not protect you.” Now, more than ever, we are called to bring our voices and presence of radical love to the world.
I look forward to our continued journey as we share and live our faith, empowering one another to be who we are. For that, too, I am grateful.