“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…”
When I lead retreats and ceremonies, I often begin with an invocation inspired by First Nation sensibilities that calls in all the compass directions as expressions of Divine power. Like the four winds that Ezekiel named, this is a way to honor the wholeness of creation and the wholeness of being, to include all of the cycles and seasons of life. The East is a place of beginning where the sun rises and the West is a place of endings where the sun sets.
And so it is with cycles of ministry including mine at UCUCC: I began here in January of 2019 and I leave at the end of this January of 2021. I came to the church to be a Bridge Minister, to serve the church in a journey of discernment and transition, to help bridge the gap between the ministry of Pastor Peter and the ministry of the next called pastor, whom we now know is Reverend Steve Jerbi. Our journey together is nearly complete. It is time for an ending and a beginning of another journey for UCUCC and for me.
First, I want to say thank you! From the very first Sunday, Allison and I experienced welcome. You have supported me with temporary housing (14 moves!), with encouraging presence, and with an openness to the expression of my gifts. In my office, I have numerous expressions of your thanks and support. Second, I want to say I have learned a lot. I came to learn what it was like to minister in a large church setting and to serve on a collaborative team. And I learned so much more including deepening my understanding of antiracism consciousness and my sense of what it takes to ‘future’ a congregation.
Just as I have helped your journey of transition, I have been on my own journey of transition to a new ministry project with my wife Allison. We have begun an inter-spiritual network and community, The Sanctuary for Sacred Union, dedicated to the personal and collective wholeness that heals the separations and polarizations that underlie what ails humanity. It is a call that has been building for years and became clear and strong while I have served UCUCC. We begin 2021 with a leap of faith into this new venture.
UCUCC is poised as well as any congregation can be to engage an emerging future. I encourage you to stay in conversation with the Futures Report and to embrace its guiding tagline for the church: Living the Transformative Adventure of God’s Love and Justice. As we enter the Age of the Spirit, vital churches will help members to meet the unfolding of personal and collective life with transforming spiritual practices to experience God’s love, Divine forgiveness and healing, and inspire the transforming commitment and courage to act for the coming of God’s Kin-dom on earth.
My last Sunday with you will be January 31st.
So, with joy and a little sadness, with faith and anticipation, and with an always-place for UCUCC and Seattle in my heart, I bid you all a farewell and Godspeed.
In this time of physical separation, we can’t have a celebration for Todd in Ostrander Hall – instead, we will have several Zoom opportunities to drop in and say hello, share a story or two, and bless his future travels. Please mark your calendar for these dates. The links can be found in our weekly Monday and Friday emails, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to request them.
- Thursday 21st 9:00 am
- Monday the 25th at 7:00 pm
- Wednesday the 27th at 1:00 pm
- Thursday the 28th at 4:00 pm
- Sunday, January 31st Coffee Hour after worship
Todd asks that any gifts of appreciation be in the form of a donation to Mwanzo – you can donate online by going to our website and clicking on the “give” button. Choose Mwanzo in the dropdown menu, and then make a note in the memo space that your donation is in appreciation of Pastor Todd.