Welcome to a new congregational year! As we get vaccinated, pandemic recedes and communities open up, it’s great to see each other in person again: To see smiles and to hug (willing) vaccinated friends and family. We feel both excitement and trepidation: Familiar social habits take more energy and are more emotionally charged. We wonder: Are we really safe? Will we engage in the same ways?

This is a powerful opportunity to pay attention to your inner life, asking yourself: What’s becoming important to me now? Are my priorities shifting? Where do I feel connected to something larger than myself?

At this year’s Berry Street Lecture at General Assembly (our global UU annual meetings), they reminded us that our UU tradition has three expectations of each other:

-INNER AWARENESS / Spiritual Practice: to be grounded in our own direct experiences of Life/Love/the Holy – which holds us and loves Life.

-DEEPENING INTIMACY: to bring these direct experiences into relationships with one another, in small groups and in our congregation.

-ENGAGE THE WORLD: to draw on this grounding and mutual support for the resilience to work for justice to help heal the world together.

Sunday Services/Worship team chose, The Power of Togetherness as the theme for this new year. In July, they present a series of services that explore our direct experience and truths, in service to the world.

From July 4th through July 31st I shall be on study leave, preparing programs and services for this new year. I won’t be at Sunday services, Board, committee or group meetings, and will be slow responding to emails that aren’t emergencies.

May we open this month to the power of togetherness, to new beginnings, even in familiar places. May we reconnect, noticing changes and choices, deepening self-awareness and spiritual practice. May we dare to share what this is like for us, cultivating relationships of trust that build the resilience necessary to sustain us in our work for justice and care for the world.

I look forward to being together in August – in person and also on Zoom.

With love and excitement,

Rev. Mary