We use the word leadership often in UU circles. It used to be that the word referred to positions of responsibility like Board member or committee member, a position in the congregation’s structure. More and more I find we are using the word leadership when we mean something different, not limited to these official roles. Maybe it’s committing to a spiritual practice, eating healthier, improving your relationships, or focusing your priorities, but making a change in how you live your values is leadership.
Most people who step up to an official role in the congregation aren’t aiming to be leaders. Some do it because the congregation is a safe place to stretch themselves in new ways. Others step up because they feel the task is desperately important and they want to contribute.
These are all spiritual commitments. They are borne of a hope to create change (and spoiler alert – learning is creating change). I’d even go so far as to say they are expressions of faith.
There is much love in this congregation and it was on display through September as people helped one another, reached out or responded to calls for support. Thank you to all who have made a meal, given a ride, helped someone move or spent time at Project Connect or Bethlehem Inn in the past couple of months. Several recipients have told me how much it meant to them, and as the minister I see a difference in the morale of people who feel they’re cared for and people who feel alone.
I’ve been thinking about time lately. August often brings me thoughts about time. There have been only a few years of my life that I haven’t started a school year or church year in September, and so it still carries a strong aura of new beginning for me. In Canada, the days are shorter and cooler, signaling a return to indoor life and the stormier seasons ahead.
This summer I’ve felt many layers of time piled on one another as the rhythm of my life begins to sync with the patterns and plans of life at UUFCO, withdrawing from life in British Columbia while simultaneously being stopped as US Immigration processes my visa application.
Whereas September and new jobs normally have clean beginnings this one is a very staggered start, from early, informal involve-ment to being a guest at meetings, to now undertaking my responsibilities remotely. The last step will be to settle physically in situ when the visa comes.
I'm delighted to welcome you to our UUFCO website. I hope you find what you are looking for in these pages, and that I'm graced with the opportunity to meet you in person soon.
I believe in the power of Unitarian Universalist congregations to heal spirits and change the world. With that grounding belief, I am committed to fostering the vitality of our congregation and widening circles of community, compassion and courage.
So what can you expect when you come to a Sunday service?
A congregation’s Sunday services create a heartbeat in people’s lives as the community gathers in, goes out, and gathers in again. I seek to work with congregational leaders to create the richest possible worship experience through hospitality and spiritual nourishment for those who gather together on Sunday.
The relationship between minister and congregation is precious, powerful, and sacred. This is most visible in worship, a place and time of opening to new ways of seeing and being, seeing value where we didn’t before, being restored, renewed, healed.
My purpose as a minister is to help create a spiritual culture where people are nourished and nurtured towards wholeness, integrity, and authenticity, strengthened to thrive in the face of challenge, and inspired to engage wholeheartedly in the miracle of life. I write sermons and build worship with the goals of interpreting contemporary life to make meaning out of experience; nurturing compassion and commitment within and beyond the congregation, and deepening awareness of our interdependence in the web of life. UUFCO’s mission statement echoes my aim for worship: to seek meaning, celebrate life, and serve the spirit of love and justice in our world.