Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for your strong presence and participation on Sunday, both in person and on Zoom, as we returned to the sanctuary after a year and a half of “exile.”  It was so heartening to see our children leading the way, with their families.  I’m so grateful to the deacons for all their meetings, emails and behind-the-scenes work to put the pieces together as well as to our terrific staff—Ian, Margit, Sarah, and Silvia—who each had a tremendous part to play.  And such gratitude to Ben Wells for his tech wizardry as well as Jennie Morris and James DeNormandie.  When it came time for the congregation to offer their prayers during worship, one of them was from the “chat” on Zoom expressing gratitude for the services continuing to be available for all who wanted to join, from near or from far.

It was a milestone, to be sure.  We’ll continue to gather for worship outside during the month of October, in order to be able to include unvaccinated kids and their families, and then proceed indoors for worship.  October 31 will be an “all outdoors” worship service as we observe All Souls, All Saints and Samhain.

I’ve been enjoying meeting with some of you on Thursday morning for “coffee with the minister;” this fall one of our topics has been how we might “reinvent our own lives” and also how small changes we make in our daily routines can help us prepare for bigger trips, changes, and just in general build up our “resilience muscles.”  We begin with a prayer, and I bring at least one or two poems/blessings each time.  I’m looking forward to our Friday “meditation walks” resuming on October 8 (meet at the end of Granville Road), an hour of walking, in silence, and soaking in the beauty of the trees, fields, leaves, sky, birds, and creatures of Lincoln.

Finally, I’ve been learning a lot on Thursday night as I join some of the movie viewings and book discussions so carefully curated and presented by the Racial Justice Advocates.  As a congregation, you decided last year to undertake a “racial justice journey” this year to try to continue to learn, grow and explore, in light of the particular historical moment in time in which we find ourselves, and in preparation for the search and your new settled minister. Ministerial candidates will be eager to hear about your experiences over the last few years as you have tried to wrestle with these difficult and important issues.

Candidates will also be eager to read the surveys that so many of you filled out, and to hear about the Search Parties which are in full swing; I’ve been hearing that they are energizing and fun.

Meanwhile, there’s a nip in the air, I’m digging and dividing perennials in the garden, tucking bulbs here and there, and figuring out which houseplants need to come indoors. Soon, here in New England, the trees will take center stage, I can’t wait! See you in church.

In faith,

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