Reverend Mike’s Wayside Pulpit
Saying Goodbye Well
I have really enjoyed being with you all at the Sierra Foothills Unitarian Universalists in Auburn for the last two years. During my tenure, many of you shared with me and others from your deep wells of compassion and justice, feeding the souls of many (myself included.) This congregation, growing from a new start to a thriving social justice presence in this community, as taught me so much.. As I prepare to leave this ministry, I do so feeling grateful and lucky to have had the opportunity to be with you all. What success I have had here would not have been possible without the dedication of so many hard-working lay leaders. Since you brought me here after your first successful called/settled ministry, I heard some voice their fears that this church was unworthy of love or that it was seen as ‘troublesome’ – my experience here has quite contradicted that fear. What I found here was a lovable church full of caring people, and I can’t wait to see what you all accomplish together in the future.
I’m also grateful for our dedicated staff, and want to be sure to lift them up. Helping me with worship every week and bringing a creative spirit to the sanctuary are our Director of Music, Patricia Leftridge. Shepherding the children and RE volunteers, we have our Director of Religious Exploration, Adrean Dills, and Childcare providers, Geoffrey Soule, Kayda Walsh, and formerly also Scott Dahl. Our staff overseeing the administration and operations of the church include our Congregational Administrators, firstly, Ronda Pate, and later, Vicky Jungers, as well as our contract Bookkeeper, Rosie Joe, and our Groundskeeper, Terry Cote. Thank you all for your support and assistance over the last two years. Ministry is never a one-person job, and I could have done this work without you!
Part of saying good-bye, for ministers, is to clear the way for future ministers to build relationships with you all. As per the standards agreed upon by all UU ministers, I must end my relationships with congregational members and friends at the end of my contract. Once my time has come to its official conclusion, I will refer any requests for ministerial support to your future minister, “un-friend” all SFUU members on Facebook, and so on. Although this is good-bye, please know that I will remember you all fondly and am grateful for the care you have extended to me during this interim ministry.
For those wondering, my partner Glenn and I will travel in Spokane, WA, for the UUA General Assembly, where I will serve as your ministerial delegate. This will be my final ‘duty’ for SFUU. Afterwards, we will move to our next location, for my next two-year ministry (the details are still being worked out as of this writing). I think the summer will be rather busy!
May it ever be so and blessed be you all!
~ Rev. Mike