Lighting the Chalice
As Unitarian Universalists, we often light chalices to begin things. Worship services, meetings, family dinners, and more can all benefit from intentionally lighting a flame and mindfully attending to either words or silence. So too, can the beginning of a church year, and in particular the beginning of a ministry together, benefit from attention and ritual.
August will be my first month serving you all, and it will be full of firsts, beginnings, and – of course – chalice lightings. If I can, I want to treat the whole month like the lighting of a chalice. So please, join me in that spirit as we begin this relationship and journey together.
New beginnings are often both joyful and challenging. There are two energies in tension in a beginning. It takes time to get to know one another, and so there is an energy that wants us to take things slowly and intentionally. But we also want to seize the energy of a new beginning, and there are also the tasks that simply must be attended to, which creates an energy spurring us forward quickly! In the balance of this tension is a healthy and fruitful partnership, not without its imperfections. I will make mistakes. I might accidentally step on someone’s toes or fail to realize the urgency of an issue. I am sure there will be moments where I feel surprised and perhaps challenged by one of you, and in those moments I will do my best to lean into curiosity, building relationship, rather than creating distance by being reactive. What I ask of each of you is to also lean into curiosity, and lean into relationship by coming to me directly if I do or say anything that gives you pause or concern. I am of the belief that any tension we discover can be molded into creative energy if we lean into it in the spirit of beloved community.
And, I have to say that the prospective challenges of this new beginning pale in comparison to the joy and excitement I feel. I am so excited to begin serving you all and working with this amazing congregation. Your commitment to caring for the earth, to nourishing the spirit through Religious Education and Worship, and to caring deeply for each other as a community inspire me already.
Come, let us light this chalice together!