Mahalo to You All
First and foremost, I love you all so much. I would not be the person I am without the unparalleled gifts this congregation offers the world.
You have given me the incredible gift of inspiration, partnership and aloha for five years. Together we have been through a worldwide pandemic in ways that were very hard, but brought meaning to many seeking it in a time of great pain. We have transformed the church building in new and creative ways to be sustaining and nurturing for families of all kinds and generations to come. We have answered the call of justice ceaselessly together, working for fair access to voting, standing up for the rights of those who are suffering, and seeking out justice to heal a hurting world where it is needed. We have become one of the first places in these lands people think of when they think of the liberal religious tradition in which we boldly stand. We have done a tremendous amount of work to build together the Beloved Community. For this, and simply for who you are, I love you very much.
It is clear that people in places around our shared world are suffering horribly and needlessly and somewhat suddenly. I know it may not seem fair right now, but as a response to recent rises in hostility in parts of the country, the people at a UU church suffering a great deal sought me out to help them face the tremendous weight of a surrounding world that seems set against them. My call has always been to guard and protect the principles of our faith as readily as I guard and protect the people of this shared world. I searched my heart for an answer to give our sibling church, and the answer that came was that I need to answer their call for help.
I will begin serving that church on September 1. I will be able to share more about that community in the coming weeks, but professional ethics and protocol prevent me from discussing that in detail right now.
Please pause. Please breathe. All will be well. You are going to be absolutely fine, I know it.
I am still here with you. Your Board, your leaders, and all of you have everything you need to enter this time of change and growth together. Together we will assure a smooth process of transition over the coming months. There is no need to be worried. Dr. Michele will be with us in June. Rev. Mykal Slack will be with us in July and August. They were already planning to be here during my sabbatical. There are many resources available to our community to help us through this, and the most important resource any of us has is each other.
I know that part of living in the Beloved Community is working together, mourning together, healing together, and understanding together. We will find a way forward together to continue the vital, transformative ministry that this church so generously offers the world.
Many blessings. I love you all.
In faith and hope and aloha,
Rev. T. J.