We are growing. We are crossing the boundary from being a small to mid-sized congregation. The board is talking a lot about what this means for us practically, but I’m also thinking about what this means for us spiritually. Milestones are a good time to take stock and reflect.
The time has come when it’s impossible to feel close to every person in the congregation. This is not a bad thing. It means that there’s something happening here larger than the sum of our individual connections: a sense of belonging, a sense of commitment, a connection not simply one to another but the individual to the larger whole. And yet, those individual connections are important. During this year, we will relaunch small group ministries (also known as covenant groups or chalice circles in some congregations) as one way to continue to build more intimate connections as we grow. If you would like to be matched with a small group, please take this survey. (If the survey doesn’t work for you, you are welcome to contact the office.) I’m also hearing requests for more social groups. If you are interested in starting a book group, knitting group, or other informal gathering, let us know what makes you feel connected.
As we gain a little more clarity around the larger us of UUSA, it becomes clearer that the congregation’s mission is not the same as the passions of the individuals who are part of UUSA. What we can do together is not just what we do as individuals scaled up by 150 people. The power of the congregation is the spiritual resilience to trust that each of us has a place, a purpose, and a role and none of us needs to feel stuck. To paraphrase Rabbi Tarfon in the Pirkei Avot, the work is on no one person to complete, but all of us need to participate in it.
Let’s lean into this exciting change; embrace the growth that is the evidence that we are offering something good to the community. We have a lot to celebrate. All of those things that brought us to this moment have served us very well. It is healthy to honor that work and continue to ask whether the ways we have done things in the past are the most useful to us as we grow.
PS: I would like to introduce to you the newest member of my family! I have adopted a dog. He is a Korean Jindo mix, about 2 years old. I am calling him Yuly.