I don’t have the best sense of direction. So when I started my drive to Sharon in early August I considered consulting my GPS in case I didn’t remember the way. “No, come on, you’ll remember!!” I quickly said to myself.” And once I got through the tricky part of figuring which way to go on 93 and got myself safely onto RT 95 South, I knew I was okay. Because I was SURE that it was EXIT 10 for Sharon. I’ve driven on RT. 95 countless times in the past 11 years since finished my interim ministry at UCS, and whenever I’d see Exit 10, I’d think of this congregation, sometimes lifting a hand to wave hello
Imagine my consternation when I discovered Sharon is no longer Exit 10! No one asked me before changing it something not even close to 10!
Things change, don’t they? We think we know what’s up, we make plans with assurance, we are sure as shooting that we know something, and then….it’s different than we thought, it changes without any notice, and we learn/relearn for the umpteenth time that we aren’t in control of much of anything. Except how we will respond to what is.
The Delta variant has thrown a wrench into plans for the fall, complicating lots of things, including plans to return to in-person worship. The leadership of this congregation, like so many congregations, has had to grapple with many factors and continued uncertainties to form a plan for a safe opening. This plan is described in the Board President’s column in the Newsletter on page 3, and I join you in thanking the Safe Reopening Taskforce and Board of Trustees for their thoughtful deliberation. Though our coming together as a community is (wisely) somewhat restricted, it will still be a joy to be together more than has been possible in the past year.
You may be encountering other changes in your lives, from unexpected illnesses to new jobs, from worries about elderly parents to the birth of new babies, from relationship challenges to celebrating milestone wedding anniversaries. And you may also be holding in your heart the reality of Afghanistan and Haiti, the UN report on Climate Change and other pains, griefs and worries. Your faith community is a place where changes- unwelcome and welcome- and the world’s struggles can be faced. Together. So often a wise response to what is can be found here-in the conversations with friends, in the work of committees, in worship, in strength of community and a shared faith.
I did find my way to the corner of North Main Street and Depot Road, you’ll be glad to know. And I’m glad to be here with you these this fall, assisting as I can as your chart a way forward in these times of challenge and hope.
Beginning the week of September 5, I will serve the congregation roughly 20 hours per week.