January 2019

In the Interim

The theme for worship in January is transformation. This is a particularly apt theme for a period of interim ministry.  The departure of one senior minister

and the arrival of another is always a significant time of transformation in

congregational life.  The first month of the year is also a time when people

naturally think about the past and imagine the future.

Thinking about the past and imagining the future are central tasks of the interim ministry.  They are transformative work and in our worship services throughout the month we’ll be exploring how the work of transforming our religious community can be work that transforms us as individuals.  The Rev. Dr. Joanne Braxton will be leading a service on January 6th in this vein on the 8th Principle Project, an effort to add an explicit commitment to anti-racism to the principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association.  My own services for the month will challenge us to examine how by changing ourselves we can each become agents for transformation of the larger whole.

January marks a big month for transformation in the life of First Church. On January 6th we will begin live-streaming the sermons from Museum District

to Tapestry.  We had a successful launch of live-streaming to Thoreau on

December 16th when Mary Katherine Morn was in the pulpit.  I suspect that all listening to the same sermon on Sunday morning will help make First Church feel more like one church in three locations.  I am excited about it and I hope that you are as well!

On a personal note, I will be on vacation in Japan from December 25th to

January 4th.  The Rev. Dr. Dan King will be stepping into the role of head of staff in my absence.  I am looking forward to an exciting trip and returning full of new inspiration.  Because of my travel destination and the time of year I think it is appropriate to end with two winter poems from the Japanese tradition:

Starting, then stopping,

the hail moves through my garden

all at a slant;

shining banks of cloud

darken in the sky above. ~ Kyogoku Tamekane

As a rule, I hate

crows–but, ah, not on such a

snowy morning!