We seem to have two “busy seasons” at First Parish: the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s and the now through June 18th, our last regular service before we go on our summer schedule. During both, we have lots of special services and special events. For our spring season, we will have celebrations of our children and youth, the musical life of our congregation and close our church year with a flower communion. We also have our traditional events like the May Breakfast on May 6th (please come to volunteer and/or eat!) and the Mothers’ Day Walk for Peace on May 14th ( if you wish to register to walk or donate, you can do so at the Mother's Day Walk for Peace site).
The busyness of this particular spring is increased as we prepare for the installation of a new elevator and bathrooms and reconfiguring of offices and classrooms in the RE wing. The Building Accessibility Task Force and members of the Department of the Interior have been meeting with lay leaders and staff to help prepare us for the upcoming renovations. This summer and fall will be steeped in practices of adaptability, patience, and lots of deep breaths. It will be amazing when it is all done to see what our discernment about our building and our UU values and covenant have created.
It was about ten years ago that we held an all-congregational retreat facilitated by the Rev. Larry Peers. At this retreat, we reflected on our congregation’s story and helped bring new people (like me!) into our shared narrative. From it, we also developed our First Parish covenant, which played a role in discerning the decision to go ahead with renovations to make our building more handicapped accessible. As we prepare to finish this particular chapter in our congregational story, it seems a good time to pause and reflect—on what we have accomplished and where we go from here. The Standing Committee, the Committee on Ministry and I are planning another all-congregational retreat with Larry in the fall to do this reflecting, to invite our new members and friends to listen and contribute to our congregational story and touch base with our covenant. We have scheduled it for all-day Saturday, September 30th. Please hold the date, with details to come.
In the coming weeks, we will also be preparing to say farewell to Justine, our intern minister. I cannot begin to thank Justine for all she has shared with us. It has been an honor for me to be her teaching pastor. I learned so much from her that “teaching pastor” feels like a misnomer. She has been my colleague in ministry these past two years, and I will miss sharing the ministry of this congregation I love so much with her.