The Chance to Love Everything — Though the Denver weather remains stubbornly in the 90s, my daughter started Kindergarten this morning, so I am pretty sure another summer is coming to a close. Which means, a new church year is about to begin! And what a church year we have before us!
I have been thinking of the coming 10 months as a “moving” time, in more ways than one.
First, moving, as in, changing, growing – primarily, we are moving from multiple ministers who rotate to fill the pulpit on a guest-type basis, to a single minister who will serve the congregation not only for worship but in growing the total shared ministry of the religious community. As most of you know by now, my colleague and co-minister of the past year Robert Latham has taken on the interim District Executive role in California. Grateful for all the service and vision Robert offered TRUU in his time with the community, the Board also took this change as an opportunity to move the vision of professional ministry forward for TRUU. From this impulse, the Board and I have created a covenant for my work with you for this year as your minister, and I couldn’t be more excited, more humbled, more grateful. From this vision, we are cultivating a rich year of spiritual depth and meaning, a shared ministry that moves the congregation forward as a vital presence of liberal religion in the valley.
Second, we can imagine this year as moving, as in, literally, moving. Hopefully you have heard by now about our exciting move to the Third Street Center for our worship and programming! This took a huge group effort to make this happen, but certainly Sue Edelstein, Leo McKinney, Cathy and Mike Schermer, and the entire TRUU Board deserve particular thanks and appreciation. Won’t it be wonderful to be in such a dynamic place so consistent with our values and goals for TRUU? I look forward to seeing you all at 3rd Street for our Ingathering Service – “Born and Reborn Again” – on August 28th!
And finally, I imagine this year as moving as in, touching us, transforming us, emotionally, spiritually, as individuals and as a community. The year ahead will be filled with opportunities for what you may remember we spoke of in our last service in May – to experience the yearnings we have for transcendence, belonging, and significance. In the coming weeks, I will share with you more about what these words might mean, and how our TRUU programming can offer us all opportunities to experience these things together. For now, let me just offer a little teaser…
- Transcendence: We all want to feel a part of something greater than ourselves, something beyond the here and now. The primary way that TRUU offers an opportunity to experience transcendence is through our worship services. Check out our Worship Schedule for this year, and invite your friends and community to experience with you, with a growing and vital community, a shared experience of being connected with something greater than all, and yet present in each.
- Belonging: We all yearn to be held in a community of care and connection, a sense of being “belonged.” Especially in today’s world where families are often geographically or emotionally fragmented, the religious community can be an important way we can experience a sense of intimacy, of being known, seen and heard, cared for and considered. This year we will offer three main ways to experience belonging – we will continue our Circle Suppers, we will deepen our connection through Fellowship Sundays, and we will initiate small group ministry called Covenant Groups. Look for more information on all of these in the coming weeks.
- Significance: Finally, we want our lives to serve a greater meaning and purpose, to make a difference. This yearning seeks to make sense of the big questions in life: “Who am I?” “Where do I come from?” “Where am I going?” “What is life really about?” Check out our growing Adult Spiritual Path schedule for the year, as well as our Sunday Religious Exploration program for children and youth to get a sense of how we engage these questions together. In addition, this year we’ll grow more fully into our call to Social Justice and Change, continuing our direct service for our community, even while considering the links of personal and societal transformation. Lots more information on this to come!
So, this is the “moving” year we have before us! Let us travel this journey of transcendence, belonging, and significance together with patience and love, keeping always our sense of humor and our desire to learn and grow together.
With love, and in faith,
Gretchen Haley, TRUU Minister
PS: In the new 3rd Street space, I will have an office! If you are ever in need of a personal conversation, for whatever reason, please feel free to get in touch so that we can schedule a time. You can reach me at ghaley.truu (at) gmail (dot) com.