There’s a lot to be said for what my mom used to call “Tapetenwechsel” – a change of scenery (in German, literally, a change of wallpaper). Stepping out of familiar environments now and then certainly challenges me to look at my life more objectively and to value its place within a larger context. That’s what this summer did for me. It allowed me to meet myself through new ideas and practices, new friendships and time for reflection, and to put all of that into perspective.

One of the things I “bring back home” from this experience is a renewed commitment to better nurture the connections between my mind, body, and spirit – and to more proactively encourage others to do likewise. Another, as we enter a third year of shared ministry, is a renewed commitment to my call to integrity, and to my religious community as part of a much larger whole. That connection implies responsibility, but it also points to enriching resources and opportunities I will be embracing, as well as asking my congregation to engage with this year.

So, what’s that going to look like? In addition to continuing to focus on UUofSCV Worship Life, Spiritual Care, and those areas Leadership determines as goals for the year, some may notice that I will
o be seated by 10:25 on Sundays, as a way to center myself before the worship service begins (connecting mind, body and spirit)
o begin coordinating a trained Pastoral Care Team responsive to members in need
o encourage stronger cultural/religious literacy and relationships within and beyond this congregation
o renew and deepen my congregation’s Intergenerational health and Welcoming Congregation status
o highlight, with greater urgency, the inextricable connections between Unitarian Universalist values and the application of courageous generosity (aka LOVE) in the wider world, with a call to get involved in deeper ways.

In support of these personal and professional goals, I have decided to take advantage of a new coaching program through the UUMA and registered for a number of spiritual enrichment and continuing education programs; increased my number of hours at the gym; and let folks know what I’m up to.

As this country moves towards a critical presidential election, as human rights continue to be threatened and violated the world over, as eco-systems shatter and the impulse to withdraw into whatever feels most safe and familiar rises, I’m reminding myself and asking others to resist that urge.

Know that your life takes place within a much larger context, and that Unitarian Universalism, as a diverse, free-thinking religious community, is here to help you figure out what YOU can “bring home” to the world.

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