March is upon us. In somewhat predictable fashion for early March, on a recent walk that started in watery sunlight, my pup Theo and I were rained on, sleeted on, snowed on, and then the whole thing in reverse over the course of an hour. The clouds hung low; there was no mountain to be seen. A few hours later, we stepped outside again, this time into bright sunlight. Mt. Sopris shone, stunning and brilliant white against a cold blue sky. It can be startling, how quickly things can change. But that is the nature of March.
I have some news of change. I want to share with you that I have let the board of trustees know that I will not be able to return to TRUU next year to serve as your minister, though it had been my hope to do so. It can be startling, indeed, how quickly things can change. I will reiterate what was said in the recent letter from the board; this decision was made for personal reasons having nothing to do with the congregation or my work at TRUU. I am truly sorry to be leaving so soon.
This has been a remarkable year for me as I’ve grown into ministry in partnership with you. I am so grateful for our time together. I know that my leaving means that you will undergo another ministerial search, and that there is much in that process that can elevate anxiety and bring on all the usual discomforts of uncertainty. But I also know that you are coming to this search with all of the strength and purpose of a congregation that is claiming its identity, putting down deeper roots, and growing community connections. From a ministerial perspective, you are not just a fun group (though you are that!) you are engaged in seeking and finding meaning in your own lives and in your relationships with the wider world. I encourage you to share that engagement in your search. I also will do whatever I can to support TRUU in this process so that you, as a congregation, may continue to grow in spirit and in shared ministry.
I will complete my contract year at TRUU, which continues through June 15th. I am looking forward to the work we will do together over these next few months. In keeping with UUA protocol, after my departure, I will have a one-year separation from the congregation, to allow new ministry to take root and flourish. After that, I look forward to being in touch. For now, though, it is only March, and we have time together to prepare for next year!
Our theme for the month of March is renewal. It occurred to me after I was out in the rain/sleet/snow the other day, that all of this changeable weather is the precursor to renewal. While I was in it, I was busy trying to keep my balance on the remaining ice and strategizing to step around the deeper mud puddles, so it was not immediately on my mind just how this was going to feed my renewal, or the renewal of this beautiful valley. But then the brilliant spectacle of Mt. Sopris dominating the sky made it easy to remember. Literally and metaphorically, the promise of renewal is in every moment. This month we will have services on the 3rd, 17th, and 31st , and Fellowship Sunday for small group discussions will be held on the 10th. Please note that there is no service on March 24th. I look forward to seeing you in church!