As we begin the new church year (Homecoming Sunday is September 8, 2013), it is an important time to remind ourselves of the cycle of life. As we enter into a new year of covenant, of shared ministry, of chalice lightings, of introducing ourselves to each other, of holding each other in joy and sorrow, of all these things, may we stop to remind ourselves of why we gather together in community.
Reverend Pam Allen-Thompson began her ministry with us on August 1, 2013 and will be our guide throughout this church year. For those who have not yet met Rev. Pam, please introduce yourself to her the next time you are at the church.
Let us all remember that while we have lost our beloved minister to another congregation, we have not lost the core of this church—the people of this church. It is the people that allow this church to be a force for social justice, at home and abroad; a leader in fighting for anti-racism, anti-oppression and multiculturalism; a safe place for multiple religious and spiritual views and backgrounds; a welcoming congregation; and an active part of the Kalamazoo community for more than 150 years.
As we move forward in our important work, it is imperative that we focus on who we are—here and now—and how we can continue to make UU values a living part of our community. Your Board of Trustees is committed to helping everyone in this church be up-to-date on what we need to do in a time of transition and how we can all work together to maintain our effectiveness
in the church, the district, the UUA and abroad. The next key step in our transition process is a retreat on Saturday, October 26, 2013. This retreat is for the members of the Board of Trustees, the minister, the transition team, and a few other church leaders. The retreat is a gift we receive from the MidAmerica Region (formerly the Heartland District) and will be facilitated by
a trained consultant. This retreat is to help church leaders best set the course of action for our first year of interim ministry.
Some time in early 2014, the church will begin a conversation on how to select our ministerial search committee, a committee that will take the lead on searching for our next called minister, someone we will call to begin work with us in September, 2015. There will be numerous conversations around this process and plenty of opportunities for everyone to participate.
As we enter this new year together, let us be open and honest with each other about our hopes as well as our fears. Let us remember to share our concerns with each other and to seek each other’s guidance. Please keep in mind that Jill is no longer our minister and not someone we should consult about church business. Part of our healing process is just like the transition from a caterpillar to a butterfly, we must encase ourselves in the process of transition. Unlike the caterpillar, however, we need not do so alone.
As we move through what will feel like uncharted territory for many (any of us who have known only one minister at People’s Church), let us do so together, as People’s people and let us each remember the beauty that will follow.
Always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call on your Board of Trustees or your minister.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, in community and in peace,