Oh My People!

Ahhhh…deep breath…I’m back with my people!

I know, it’s a tad early, but given the circumstances, and after consulting with UFP’s leadership, I decided I just couldn’t stay away any longer. Home, with you, is where I need to be.

It goes without saying that these are unusual and trying times. We’re being asked to keep our distance from one another when we most need to connect. The very ground beneath us is shifting, requiring us to be nimble and responsive. Anxiety and fear have become our bedfellows.

But, our UFP community was built for times like these, right? We have a covenant with one another, already priming us to see our world through the lenses of healing, helping and blessing. We have promised to care for the earth, to serve humanity, and to cherish one another. We’ve already built a community grounded in love. The months ahead are gonna be tough, for sure, but we’ve got each other.

Recommended responses and best practices for these times are changing by the moment. I’ll be focusing my time in the near future on finding safe ways for us to connect, meaningful ways to support one another, and resilience-building resources for our collective and individual spiritual sustenance. I welcome your ideas, as well as your requests for support!

Right now, I am simply here to serve you. I’d like to hear how you’re doing…and especially want to know if you’re facing financial, physical, or logistical stressors.

I do not return to a ‘messy house.’ Far from it. I am not at all surprised at how you led and participated and carried on SO VERY WELL in my absence (see Jovanna’s Feb 28 report.) I am especially in awe of those who worked so hard to create and deliver our first-ever on-line Sunday service on March 15. Your competence and your dedication to this community inspire me. And I am grateful, so very grateful.

Yes. It feels good to be back. A sabbatical report will come soon, as will invitations to connect with, give to, and receive from one another, because even as uncertainty and isolation wreak havoc, we are called to remember that the best way to travel is together, with songs in our hearts. Indeed, we have each other.

Oh, my people, I love you,
Rev. Julie

PS: Here’s a poem for these times.

Nothing is Static    ~ Rev. Manish Mishra-Marzetti

The ground shifts, sometimes slowly,
sometimes like an earthquake,
reminding us that the solidity
we often love and seek
is an illusion.

The crumbling dust of the desert plains,
the moist fertility of farmlands,
the ending coastline of tidal shores,
all are changing.

Committees dissolve or are created,
leaders retire or step away,
ministers come and go,
by-laws are amended.

New experiences
lead to new truths,
which foster
evolution;

the natural course of life
always pushing us
toward greater understandings
of what it means
to be human.

Everything about our existence
points toward change,
flexibility,
and dynamic re-creation.
And it’s hard because
change involves loss.

Can we hold the losses well,
while not holding ourselves back?

The ground shifts, sometimes slowly,
sometimes like an earthquake;
nothing is static.