May – From the Minister

If you could see the journey whole, you might never undertake it,
might never dare the first step that propels you
from the place you have known to the place you know not.
Call it one of the mercies of the road:
that we see it only by stages as it opens before us,
as it comes into our keeping, step by single step.
- Jan Richardson

Our 3 (and 1⁄2!) year old, Louisa, says, “You can have two feelings at one time, Papa. ” It is true. The state of my heart these days has been a mix of grief, love, appreciation, hope—curiosity for the future, gratitude for what has been.

As I begin to say goodbye to this church, and move toward beginning a new ministry at the First UU Church in Rochester, MN, I will bring you with me. I will carry in my heart the good work we’ve done together, the hard and holy conversations, the joyful laughter and the struggle to find hope in a broken, and yet so beautiful, world.

Part of carrying you in my heart is an honoring of this transition. I won’t be journeying alongside you anymore. We know, from sound principle and practice, it is important for me to have a clear separation from ministry among you. It is important for me, for this church, and for the church I will serve next. It is important for you to gain trust and build a relationship with new ministry staff here, and it is important for me to focus my attention on serving a new community.

While it can be hard in many ways to move away from ministerial and social connection (rites of passage, social media, email and phone calls), we know that is a healthy way for former bonds to clearly loosen, so that new bonds can more easily weave together.

In these last weeks leading to my final Sunday on June 11th, I look forward to sharing gratitude for how you have held and supported our growing family; how you have held and support my ministry; and I will hold you in my heart, in prayer, and in hope, for the unfolding journeys before us.

In faith and gratitude, Luke

From Victoria

With gratitude and sadness, and also with great joy for Luke and his family, we will say farewell in June. As members and friends of the congregation which ordained him, you should be deeply proud of your influence and imprint upon his ministry. Luke will carry with him forever a part of White Bear UU Church.

Looking ahead, the year before us will be rich and full. I’m working with the Board of Directors to discern next steps for ministry staffing, deciding in the next few weeks whether and when to fill our open Membership position and/ or to gather a search committee to seek a new Assistant Minister. That process takes about a year. This is a vibrant congregation, clear in its intent to build beloved community and serve the world in love. I have no doubt that strong candidates—for ministry or for the lay membership position—can be attracted here.

The annual pledge campaign has been heartening, with many new contributions and generous gifts from longtime donors; however, many pledges are still outstanding, and this complicates the planning for next year. I’ll be here through the summer grateful for your questions, your wisdom and your shared dreams as together we go forward.