It was a full summer. We had a wonderful picnic in mid-June. (I hope you came to Maple Grove in June where we had worship, games, bounce houses, food trucks and music. Plan to come next June.) Our summer worship series started soon thereafter. This year a lay-clergy partnership was formed with eight of our members sharing their North Stars and Rev. Eric and I placing it in its Unitarian Universalist context.
Now we celebrate the year to come. On Sunday, September 9, Religious Education for Children and Youth is back to its regular sorts of curriculum and schedule, worship themes return, and Going Deeper Groups get started just to name the highlights.
As we begin this new year, we continue to look for a new home blessed by last spring’s hearty endorsement. Fittingly enough, our theme for September is vision. Vision asks us to look at reality – both what is present and what isn’t. The latter is difficult, of course, as accounting for absence requires an awareness of one’s own frame of reference and a willingness to learn past one’s blind spots.
This is hard work. How could it be otherwise? Living into one’s vision of what is hoped for requires great intention and discerning a vision takes enormous attention. Vision invites us to investigate the ordinary, examine our assumptions, stretch our notion of the possible, and commit to an image we can only see in our mind’s eye.
Embracing a vision is an essential part of making a contribution. As a church poised to make room for its ministries, more people, and expanded justice work, vision is a theme we will do well to wrestle deeply with. As Rosabeth Moss Kanter wrote: “A vision is not just a picture of what could be: it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.”
So, as our new church year begins, we celebrate. We celebrate our history, our present, and the church we are becoming. Whether you have been a member for decades or just started attending this summer, I’m glad you are with us. We wouldn’t be the same without you. Our vision – the picture of who we might yet become – wouldn’t be the same.
I look forward to our celebration and working with you to see the church that the collaboration of our better selves creates.