It is difficult for me to belief that this is the last Minister’s Column for this congregational year. The time has flown by.
It has felt like a good year to me, including stretching myself by recapturing an old way (for me) of preaching.
On Mother’s Day I delivered my first sermon here in Belmont without the use of text or notes. That creates a different feeling than reading a document. Not necessarily better, but different. I intend to incorporate more of that into my preaching next year. I shared with the Worship Committee last autumn that I did not know why I had not yet preached without a text here in Belmont; that I was not sure what was holding me back. At some point over the last few months I concluded it was anxiety-how would that form of preaching “play” here in Belmont?
Let’s think about this for a moment; I am a preacher with years of experience (it is now twenty years since I graduated from Divinity school) and with about fifteen years of experience preaching (at times) from the heart without a text. Yet I was nervous about doing so in a new setting.
How often do we human beings allow ourselves to be limited by anxiety or fear; how often do we miss out on something valuable-or allow others to miss out on something valuable-because we are nervous about how we or our gifts will be received?
May we all find the courage to share from the heart of ourselves.
I will have regular office hours through the month of June.
I will be on vacation for the month of July and have arranged for other UU ministers to provide pastoral care coverage for that time. This list (summer pastoral care coverage) is being provided to the Parish Board, members of the Worship Committee (one of whom will be at each of the summer Sunday services) and to Susan Street. You may contact any of them for the list.
During the month of August I will not have office hours but will be on call for pastoral care concerns and for meetings if committees or other groups desire my presence.
August is my preparatory time when I plan out my work for the year–e.g., sermons, classes, training programs–and do much of the studying and writing necessary for this. I also do more reading than usual, reading which may or may not find its way into sermons.
During August and September Allison Palm and I will be planning sessions of the Bible Study group we will lead next year.
Next year’s schedule
Due to the change in the Parish Board meeting schedule, beginning in September I will have office hours on Mondays and will take Thursdays off.