Dear First Parishers:
This past Sunday, a friend surprised me and joined us in Chelmsford for worship. Sue and I met several years ago as members of our district boards, and she has cheered me on as I have moved along this path toward ordained ministry. I felt so proud to have Sue meet you and to see our beautiful buildings and grounds through her eyes. She felt warmly welcomed by all of you, and after Reverend Ellen finished her sermon, Sue leaned over to me and told me how lucky I am to have Ellen as my supervisor and all of you as my teaching congregation. I couldn’t agree more.
In recent days, there has been some difficult conflict in our national organization, culminating in the sudden resignation of our UUA president, just a few months before the end of his term. I trust that our board of trustees will come up with an interim plan and that when we are together at General Assembly in June, we will elect a new president who will help us move forward. But right now, things feel fractured and uncomfortable. I am disappointed that with all the struggles in the larger world over access to health care, growing income inequality, increased vitriol in public discourse, and the threat to freedom for so many; we find ourselves focused on internal (to our association) conflict. Ours is a complex system, however, and it requires attention and energy; and although painful, the conversations arising about hiring practices in our UUA and the legacy of racial inequality are vital to our continuing to exist as a faith, to be relevant, and to help create the beloved community. May we move forward together with wisdom, patience, and compassion.