By Beth Elliot
This month, as we explore Belonging, I was inspired by part of a blessing from Rev. Gretchen Haley:
For this one moment
Know only that you are loved
That you are safe, and whole and loved
Know that you belong here
I think about belonging a great deal. Why do people choose to belong to a church? What are the fundamental human needs that it serves? Many people might be drawn to church because they crave community, or deepening their spiritual life, or banding together to serve justice. All of these include belonging.
Belonging also includes our responsibility to create an environment where it can thrive. In a church, that means that we must hold ourselves accountable to our Principles and Covenants. Welcoming is the work of the entire congregation. It is not enough to intellectually understand respecting the interdependent web of all existence, we must feel our part in it.
As I write this, I have not officially begun in my new position at UUCB. Yet the few times I have been on campus or used a video conference to participate in a meeting, you have made me feel like I belong. When I “officially” arrive, I ask for your patience and compassion as I fumble and adjust. And name tags. I ask that everyone have mercy on me and wear your name tags.
I am so excited to begin! Like Rev Haley’s blessing, I believe that in this moment, we are all loved, safe, and whole. We belong here, together.