Dear Friends,

It has been lovely to see the auditorium filled with life in the last weeks and months.

I think of the happy buzz and bustle of the Touch of Christmas Fair, the room thronged with familiar faces, visitors and children.

I think of the vibrant gathering at the Wednesday “Food for Thought” dinners each month, where the wider community is welcomed, delicious food is shared, and conversations often go deeper than maybe we expected.

I think of the 120 people who filled the room for a home-cooked lunch from local farms on Climate Sunday, thoughtful reflections and workshops that followed.

And finally, last week, the 60 plus people who gathered on a wintry dark January night to dig deeper into the “Spirituality Snapshot Survey” which you all faithfully filled out this fall.

Over 190 people returned the survey, an astounding example of participation in itself. On top of that, there were more than 600 written comments that you contributed. I am so appreciative of this kind of deep engagement. And then, to show up on a cold winter’s night to talk more about it! It gives an indication of the deep interest in matters spiritual which abides here in this community.

For me, as your interim minister, this is a sign of vitality and health which is good to see. Heartening to see. Thank you for filling out the survey. For showing up to talk about it. For coming on Sunday morning, for turning out for programs like “Sip, Talk, Learn” or “Spirituality Autobiography” or “Climate Sunday.”

I’ll be meeting with staff members to discuss how some questions and themes that emerged from the Spirituality Survey may spark sermons or workshops or classes here (“what is prayer?” What different meaning do words like God, Jesus, or truth hold for each of us? When I say “spirit of Jesus” in the covenant, what does that mean to me, and is it different from what it means to you?”)

If you have ideas for classes you’d like to see or sermons you’d like to hear, write to me ( and let me know. No promises! But I’m always glad to hear what is on your mind. We want the programs here to reflect your interests and passions and what you think might be a gift and a service to the wider community of Lincoln.

In Faith,

Jenny Rankin

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