RevDaveJohnson Aug2014aSm

STM: What Matters, Anyway?

I’m writing this final note to you, while lurching along at 79 mph (the posted speed limit) on Amtrak across northeast Missouri. It seems like only yesterday that my wife Diann and I arrived in Kalamazoo. From the very beginning, you have welcomed us into your homes and your hearts. Even though we knew at the outset that our time here would be all-too-brief, we nonetheless have so many compelling memories of the church and of Kalamazoo. For these memories we are deeply grateful. They will surely sustain us as we bid farewell, pack up our gypsy-wagons, and depart for new adventures with the Unitarian Universalists of Williamsburg, Virginia. I depart knowing that our primary mission during the interim-ministry period has succeeded: You are moving ahead in partnership with a truly outstanding settled minister, Rev. Rachel Lonberg. I shall be cheering you on, from just over the horizon.

At my first Sunday service with you last August I suggested that my three-decades of ministry have been an adventure into discovering and valuing STM (“stuff-that-matters”). But how shall we know what matters? To be sure, each of us must answer that question for ourselves; yet there may be some common perspectives. In my experience, STM is most likely to emerge when we are able to let go three deterrents to wholesome living. These deterrents are: 1) Haste; (2) Ambition; and (3) Being Right. Instead, we can claim Gratitude as the essential pacemaker of life. This is the cornerstone of STM —at least for me. How is it for you?

Diann and I are especially grateful for your steadfast encouragement as each of us adapted to un-planned medical events—which go along with the territory of senior-hood. This week Diann will have knee-replacement surgery at our Kansas home; she will soon return to Kalamazoo. We expect to be in Kalamazoo through much of June and July, and would like to extend our farewells and best wishes to each of you individually—either following the service on Sunday June 14, or during other occasions that may fit with your schedules.

I depart in deepest gratitude—for your having made People’s Church and Kalamazoo an enduring home-away-from-home. Blessings and best wishes for the journey ahead.


Rev. Dave Johnson, Interim Minister, 2014-2015


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