Helping, fixing, and serving represent three different ways of seeing life. When you help, you see life as weak. When you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole.” ― Rachel Naomi Remen
You will hear me use this phrase often—this Special Place. Special Place, the language we use to describe whenever two of us meet for sacred purpose. Special Place, the language of joy, possibility, and hope. And the word covenant—I use that word a lot too. Unitarian Universalists are covenantal. We promise one another certain things; sacred things. We promise to remain in right relationship with one another. We speak, as Rev Victoria Stafford reminds us, "not in the binding language of contract, but in the life-sustaining fluency of covenant, from covenir, to ‘travel together’. . . .covenant is the work of intimate justice."
I am stepping into a role left by Alice Springer and Emily Carrol. Just in case you missed it, they left you a gift. A last, farewell gift. Many years in the making. The Gift of Opening. What will you do with this gift? It’s a rare and precious thing, lovingly fashioned during years of service to this spiritual community. And that gift is now the work of this church, of you all, and now mine. How shall you honor it? What are you being called to do? What am I here to do? What are we being called to do together?
I promise—that's the first part of a covenant. The second part of the covenant is what this congregation intentionally does with the first.
It is an honor to serve you and a blessing to be invited and welcomed into your lives. I bow deeply to you all and look forward to our unfolding lives together. Lives of joy, possibility, and hope—in this Special Place. Let us covenir.
See you in church.
Steven Mead, Religious Educator