It is good to finally be with you! If we haven’t yet found time to meet up in person, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (805) 448-9641 and let’s make that happen. I’m looking forward to getting to know you and your families over the coming months and working together to continuously create a vision for United. This is a time of change for many of us personally and professionally, for our church(es), and for our communities and nation. Octavia Butler wrote in her Earthseed series: “All that you touch, you change. All that you change, changes you.” This is both exciting and terrible at the same time! For many of us, change brings anxiety and worry and grief as we cling to what we’ve known. It can often feel like the foundations of all that we trust are dissolving out from under us.
One of my favorite television series, Mr. Robot, shared this observation: “Every day, he said, we change the world. Which is a nice thought, until I think about how many days and lifetimes l would need to bring a shoe full of sand home until there is no beach. Until it made a difference to anyone. Every day we change the world. But to change the world in a way that means anything that takes more time than most people have. It never happens all at once. It’s slow. It’s methodical. It’s exhausting. We don’t all have the stomach for it.”
As we go through Lent, I invite you into the centuries old ritual of Lenten practices. Traditionally the three pillars of Lent are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Many people choose to give up something for Lent (chocolate, coffee, meat, etc). Others choose to add a something to their routine (prayer, exercise, volunteer time). One year I gave up Lent for Lent. Another year I gave up a person for Lent. There are so many ways of observing this time, and I invite you to choose some way to honor God and your own humanity, some way of addressing brokenness within or out in the community. It’s a time of recognizing brokenness and seeking healing, a time to seek after wholeness and health.
I am grateful to be walking with you this year during Lent. I hope you’ll join us for meals and gatherings in addition to Sunday mornings, and I look forward to becoming a regular part of the community.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength and all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself. ~Mark 12:30-31