Deepening Faith. Living Well. Enacting Justice.

On the Path: Musings of a Summer Minister – Diana K. McLean

Diana MIt is with a full heart that I sit down to write this, my last newsletter column here at UUCB. There is gratitude for the journey I’ve shared with you, sadness that the time has come for good-bye, and excitement for what the future holds for us on our separate paths.

It has been my honor to serve as first your Ministerial Intern and then your Summer Minister. This congregation will always hold a special place in my heart.

Although my last Sunday in the pulpit in the Boulder church will be August 9th, my final time with you will be at the All Church Weekend in Allenspark two weeks later. It seems fitting that I end my summer ministry the same way I began my internship, sharing the retreat with you and leading that weekend’s worship service.

Over the last year, I’ve had the chance to share in the life of this church in many ways. I’ve benefited from your commitment to being a teaching church. I’ve seen you inspire other Unitarian Universalist congregations by being a Breakthrough Congregation, by being a mentor congregation in the Leap of Faith Program, and by being the first Front Range church to hang a Black Lives Matter banner. I’ve witnessed your dedication and enthusiasm throughout the Search process that resulted in you calling the Reverend Kelly Dignan as your next settled minister. On a more private level, I’ve been honored to share in some of your lives as you’ve come to me with both joys and sorrows.

As we each begin new chapters in our ministry—yours with Kelly, and mine as the new Assistant Minister on the ministerial team serving both Foothills Unitarian Church and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greeley—the image that keeps coming to me is one of hands out, unfolding into open, palms-up postures. We are letting go of each other so that we all are open to receive the gifts of what comes next.

I’ve talked a lot about covenant in my time with you, and this is one more aspect of it. I am in covenant with my colleagues—both Kelly and any future interns who are blessed with the opportunity to serve this congregation.

As those of you who have been here at UUCB for the departure of one or more other Ministerial Interns may recall, there are rules that govern how these departures are handled. One of those rules is that we will not be in contact with each other. There are good reasons for this, including that letting go of your connection to me makes room for a new intern to come in the future. I deeply appreciated the healthy boundaries this congregation has with its past interns, which allowed me to find my own place here, my own ministerial relationship with you, free from assumptions or influences from prior congregation-intern relationships. I, in turn, need to ensure the same opportunity for those interns who will serve here in the future.

Because I’m staying in the area, some of you will undoubtedly see me at district events and elsewhere. We don’t have to ignore each other when that happens—but we won’t talk about church business. I won’t ask how things are going at UUCB, and I ask you to hold that boundary too.

I am so excited for UUCB’s ministry with Kelly beginning this month. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you will continue to be a welcoming place for those seeking a liberal religious home, and an inspiration to other Unitarian Universalist congregations.

My blessings and my love go with you into this new chapter of your ministry.

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