Time for an Update

tree of lifeHello, dear ones. For those of you who have stuck with me during this quiet time–thank you. There is plenty going on in my life, my congregation, my family. It’s not a lack of subject matter that’s kept me quiet. It’s a lack of energy for writing and a need to keep some things close to my heart and out of the public eye. (No matter how small that “public” may be when it comes to the blog.)

As you know from the last post, my family’s been dealing with the rapid decline and death of our dog, Bailey. That’s been hard on all of us, emotionally, spiritually and financially. To have a healthy, bouncy dog so suddenly become so ill means that more than just grief is going on for us. We’re shocked and stunned and sad and dealing with existential questions and the spectre of guilt. Why didn’t we catch it sooner? Was there anything we could have done? Should we get another dog? It’s a bit surprising to me how deeply all this affects all of us. Energy-wise, it’s just draining.

The church year is starting up as well, with all the joy and excitement, anxiety and worry that brings. Our amazing Director of Religious Education got a couple of offers she couldn’t refuse and has resigned. (One offer was a great career move, the other was to spend more time with her husband and kids.) She will be a hard act to follow, and of course, that means people in the congregation are feeling a bit nervous and off-balance. Even so, the Board is doing a great job creating an interim plan and getting its ducks in a row to do a good careful search. The job should be officially posted next week.

We’re also dealing with the complicated and intense results of a very generous, but messy bequest. Who knew that ministry would include learning estate law, knowing the legal definition of fraud, writing letters to lawyers, and trying to balance the spirit of our congregation’s values with the realities of needing to ensure the church’s future by being assertive about our legal rights and responsibilities? I guess I could have guessed that this might happen–but I still would not have been fully prepared. When a large amount of money is at stake, it is nerve-wracking and intense. Thank heaven for an endowment committee that really cares and is willing to work hard for the future of the congregation.

As I also hinted, I was dealing with some health issues. Tests and more tests–none of them fun. Luckily, I can say that other than my lack of fitness, I was given a clean bill of health this week. Whew. Hopefully this means less time with doctors and more time with friends, family, and congregants.

It’s a funny year for me–a result of the sabbatical. I’ve been in the pulpit every week since August 5th. For some reason, I didn’t schedule any real time off until late September. What was I thinking? I guess I only half-remembered that the pace of the beginning of the year is exhausting, and didn’t predict all these other issues. So, I have to take very good care of myself this month. At the end of the month, I’m traveling east to preach and lead a discussion/workshop at a friend’s congregation. That will be a break, even if it’s also work. And there is a lot happening between now and then.

Oh, I almost forgot! This is the congregation’s 25th Anniversary year! So there are a bunch of things happening to begin preparing for a big celebration. It’s my hope that we’ll have all the former ministers of the congregation, a good turnout of lay folks who’ve moved away, and Rev. Bill Sinkford, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association with us to celebrate. Coordinating those schedules is not easy, but it is beginning to come together.

So–that’s a brief update. Hopefully, I’ll be able to engage in some of the more interesting discussion happening in the UU blogosphere. It’s not that I don’t have opinions! It’s that I’m searching for time. If you have any extra…be sure to send it my way.

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2 thoughts on “Time for an Update

  1. I always forget that too, Sean, as I’m gearing up for a new year. All of a sudden, I’m (at 1/3 time) somehow involved with every service between now and Thanksgiving, and only preaching a few of those times. How did I do this to myself? But I am one of those folks who says “they PAY me to do this?”

    So glad to learn that your health is steady and that other things are falling into place.

    Ms. Kitty

  2. So sorry for the loss of your dog. Its utterly amazing how attached we get to these wonderful creatures, isn’t it? I have dealt with the same thing twice over the last 3 years. I cried like a baby and thats ok, I lost my friends.

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