For over six months I’ve had the privilege to serve two Unitarian Universalist congregations on the eastern shore. I’ve been asked: How is it going? How is the commute? Can you keep up with the commitments?
The short answers – From my perspective, it’s going well. The driving is about as expected (not bad). I believe I’m keeping up, in the imperfect way we all ‘keep up.’
The longer answer – As with any new role there is learning, and for me the learning has been an opportunity to grow spiritually. The closest synonym I’ve found for spiritual is ‘wholeness.’ I sense an experience is spiritual when gaps (often gaps we have no idea are there) are filled with awe, gratitude, belonging, or hope. Serving the two congregations has included all of the above.
I find new hope when I witness one congregation does something well, in an area where the other has been struggling. While the method one congregation uses may not directly fit for the other, there is hope in the reminder that alternate approaches can work. Serving two places is helping me ask questions in different ways, and to preach on issues from a broader perspective. The commonalities and differences also have me wondering what might lead to deeper connections for members, and to more depth in my ministry.
On Sundays, I am grateful to be with loving congregations. Both offer profound, welcoming energy. Both groups care deeply about their members and about their congregations. Both serve their wider communities in love.
For me full time ministry emerged in the form of two half time settings and I look forward to seeing where this spiritual energy might lead.
If you have questions about ways the congregations might connect and learn together, please check with me, Ann Davis or Mark Peach (UUFE’s Co-Presidents) or Dick Hawkins (UUCR’s President).