Between Us (November 2023)

It is a challenge to be present to the world – a challenge to be willing to acknowledge all that feels frightening and dangerous. If some years ago many of us felt successful and safe in the world, and deserving of it, we do not have that luxury now. We know more, we’ve seen more, we’ve learned more about what is true. As Unitarian Universalists, that has long been our aim – to see and learn more truth. This is not an exercise in intellectual posturing, though sometimes we have been mistaken in that direction.

We’re working with the theme, “Building A New Way,” this year – because we must! If it were only climate change we were facing, it would be immoral to not change the ways we live and interact with everything and everyone else. As we all know, there is more.

I’ll admit, the amount of change which is happening, and the amount which is needed, is daunting, and often, I feel discouraged. Here at the Fellowship, it can feel dizzying: folks who’ve been here a long time miss the way (they think) things were and wonder who will carry on when they are too tired to do everything, while folks who are new wonder what is going on, how to find out, what are the requirements, and where is the calendar of events?

I try to remind myself, every day, that this is exactly what change looks and feels like! We are in fact changing, and that is very good news. But it’s unsettling. Of course it is. I want to remind all of you of this as well. We need to be able to step back from our wonders, worries and concerns, and help ourselves and each other recognize that we have set off from whatever shore (and assumptions) we may have stood on, and now we are in the currents, together.

Together is the most important thing. When faced with this kind of unsettledness (which is increased by all the anxiety we piled up during the pandemic) we too often resort to finding others to blame for our frustrations and fears – the elders, the younger, the new ones, the old ones, etc.

For these times we need as much openness as possible, as much willingness to learn as possible, as much loving-kindness as possible. We need folks who are willing and able to listen and lead and guide for the good of all. We need to help one another live into our covenant of right relations. The future is unfolding between us – may we stay focused on our highest ideals!