Nearly five years ago I spoke before our congregation for the first time. It was our 30th Anniversary and I was asked to share my perspective as a new member. I remember looking around the sanctuary as it filled. I recognized some faces and knew a few names. I had attended over a year yet I really didn’t know anyone in the room that day. At that point in my journey, the Fellowship was defined as a place. A building that I traveled to every Sunday for sustenance. On that day I described our community as my new spiritual home.
Now the Fellowship is also defined by the people that fill this space. I continue to grow and learn through personal exploration and the value of this work expands as I engage in the practice of community. I can’t imagine any other place that allows me to make real the values I hold. In this place and with you, I get to collaborate, struggle, create and celebrate. Again and again. Living in community is a practice. Luckily we have a covenant, that allows me to take the risks I need for growth, fall and fail, succeed and smile. Again and again.
I have a special traveling companion on my journey, my daughter Grace. There were many times as a toddler that she would accompany me to church during the week for meetings and projects. She would run around the building like it was her home. This is her church home. It is also becoming a place where the people matter. Summer camp, choir, Our Whole Lives, Sunday morning services and classes are all settings where her circle expands. It is my hope that these relationships grow stronger with time and she too will feel the support of this community to grow and make a difference.
Each year I renew my promise to this community with my annual pledge. Each year, I renew my commitment to a practice of generosity. I ask you to do the same. I know that together, our vision is wider and our love is stronger. I know that together we can make a difference.