The beauty of another autumn is upon us and its been good to see many of you gathering back in Sunday School and worship on Sundays.
Often, during the time between settled ministers, congregations pause to ask themselves some questions. Questions like: who are we today? Where are we headed? Who do we want to call as a minister to help us get there?
Ministerial candidates will be deeply interested in the work you do this year on identity, mission and vision. They’ll have lots of questions for your search committee on these topics and will be interested in knowing how many individuals were involved in coming up with “the answers!” They will hope it represents a wide swath of the congregation not just a few people on the search committee. The Transition Team will be offering you opportunities to engage in these discussions and do this work this year.
As I’ve said to you before, and you have said to me, a church at any one point in time, is the people who are gathered there at that particular moment in time. Yet sometimes, in order to reflect more deeply on “who we are today” it can be helpful for a congregation to go back and consider its roots. What is the story of its founding? How did you come to be in the world? Were there any core values there at the beginning which are still part of your DNA today? Is there a way that your location in this particular place, the largely agrarian town of Lincoln, has influenced your identity over time?
In order to understand these roots, I’ll be doing a three part sermon series on Unitarian Universalism this fall (Sept 22, October 20 and November 17). On Sept 29th, Rev. Wendy VanderHart preached on the UCC tradition. We’re also planning a special service to honor who you are TODAY for November 3rd. We hope to lift up the story of the merger in 1942 as well as have several lay people speaking who represent the wide spectrum of theological and spiritual diversity of the present-day congregation.
As always, I welcome your phone calls, emails and visits in my office. I invite you to set up an appointment; there does not need to be any special reason! I enjoy chatting with you in my office. I am in the office Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I write my sermon in the library on Friday, Monday is my day off. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment.