In April I traveled to California to participate in a short retreat with a leadership group I belong to. The theme of our retreat this time was transition, using William Bridges’ model in which transitions flow from an ending through a neutral zone to a new beginning.
I’m in the midst of many transitions now, but the one that kept coming up for me as I thought about this model was the end of my internship at UUCB.
I’m very pleased to announce that it’s not time for final good-byes yet. The Board has hired me to be your Summer Minister until your new minister, my friend and colleague Rev. Kelly Dignan, arrives on August 16th.
As I transition from the internship and to my new role, it is time for me to share with you some of the gifts of learning you have given me over the last ten months.
There have been explicit learnings—learning the details of what it is to be a minister in a congregational setting, working with a worship schedule, a budget, a Board, committees, pastoral care, and so on. Those are an important part of any internship.
More important than those fact-based, intellectual learnings, however, is the learning of what it feels like to be your minister, and how it feels to step into that role from a place of heart and spirit as well as intellectually.
One of the ways you’ve taught me this is to be a mirror to me, as any teaching church is for its interns: to show me the minister you see in me. It’s a gradual process, much like Bridges’ model of transition.
I am so grateful to you for your commitment to being a teaching church to those of us who are in the process of ministerial formation, and for being that “mirror” to me. I am confident that you will continue to help nurture and teach many more Unitarian Universalist ministers in the years to come, and I’m honored to have been one of them.
I’ll preach my last sermon as your intern on June 7th, and will co-lead the Flower Communion on the 14th with Howell. I’ll march with you in PrideFest on the 21st, and then leave the next day to represent you at General Assembly in Portland, Oregon. When I return, it will be in my new role at UUCB as your Summer Minister.
As we move together from an ending and towards multiple new beginnings—first ours together this summer, and ultimately yours with Kelly and mine elsewhere—I look forward to walking with you in joy and excitement about the future.