By: Ministerial Intern, Sarah Oglesby-Dunegan
I am now officially about three months into my internship with Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist, and I already feel like I have been part of your community for much longer. We have looked at vision, transcendence, and now generosity together. I have watched your community grapple with day to day issues like how to discourage prairie dogs from living in our playground to broader questions about how to communicate about what Unitarian Universalism is to the wider community in this area. I have been to Frasier Meadows and met our elder UUs living there and I have been to the auction where I watched you have fun and raise money; I have been to board meetings and I have met with the middle school kids. I went to a workshop creating congregational support groups for mental illness and I have been to the Together Colorado organizational meetings for the Boulder area. I can tell you that in this short three months, with Lydia’s sabbatical just underway, I find this to be a vibrant community full of vision and possibility, willing to stretch and try new things. Many of you express a deep sense of what theologian Paul Tillich would call “ultimate concern,” and connect this to your inspiration for working together to heal the world. Whether you do this in schools through the “I Have a Dream” Foundation, getting out the vote, developing support for families challenged by mental illness, or looking to support families facing the complexities and hardships of immigration policies in our area, BVUUF as a community is generous with its time, energy, and funds. Recently, I have been reading a book on spiritual hospitality by Nanette Sawyer called Hospitality – The Sacred Art: Discovering the Hidden Spiritual Power of Invitation and Welcome. In this book Sawyer encourages us to practice hospitality first with ourselves, and then to move to sharing with our families and wider community. While Rev. Lydia is on sabbatical, I encourage each of us to consider what kinds of renewal and restoration we each need—is there a spiritual practice or resting place we can seek? What do you want to let go of, where can you leave more room for breathing deeply and being quiet? I imagine the immense re-sourcing of power available to this community if each of us does this—how much bolder, how much deeper will your work be when it comes from a place of reflection and renewal and returns to such, over and over again?
I invite you to visit my blog at www.ministryandspirit.wordpress.com for more about my journey and development as a minister.