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“Insights: Evolution of a Community” by Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty

By Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty, February 7, 2018

For those of you in our worship service last week I shared about my time away at the Unitarian Universalist Minister’s Institute (UUMI)–a time for learning, sharing and pushing the edge of how ministers understand and do ministry. There were 400-500 other UU ministers at the conference and it was a mind- and heart-opening experience for me. I attended different worship services, I learned about different types of ministry, realized important insights, met new people and together we collectively imagined what a just world might look like. I had the privilege to see one of my ministry friends from my Association days who is now running for US Congress, Rev. Carlton Smith. Carlton still works for the UUA and he is called to and believes that he can find ways to “tell new stories about his home state of Mississippi: a scenic, overwhelmingly rural state where many of his constituents are ready to move beyond the divisions of the past. He wants to be among those legislators in our nation’s capital advocating for affordable healthcare, well-paying jobs, quality education for children, and equal treatment under the law.” I saw the courage burning brightly in Carlton’s eyes and his deep conviction that he will be elected to Congress and that he will help lead Mississippi to important change. He believes that with commitment and hard work that we—together–all of us, can swing that arc of history back towards justice.

I want to believe, in my heart of hearts, that we can turn the tide, encouraging political and corporate leaders to work, vote and act based on their conscience. I know some corporate execs who are doing just that–changing the world one decision at a time from the inside and I applaud you! I am able to sometimes imagine all of the companies that are consistently making good and important decisions that help to lead our world towards a time of positive and ethical change. Of course, Forbes magazine has a list of the most ethical companies of 2017.

I came back from the Institute wondering what our place, as the First Parish of Sudbury and as the Meetinghouse in Sudbury, might be as our world continues to evolve. In this global and in large part secular story I wonder if we are needed and have a place. Are we leaders or are we troops, do we “watch-dog”, protest, bandage the broken, shore up the infrastructure or finance the “revolution of change?” For certain we each have a roll and only you know yours. I asked this question last Sunday:”What are you called to do, what is your passion, what is your idea or your story that you feel called to share?” As I have said many times, we are each a piece of a larger puzzle, our journeys intersect as we co create, evolve our community, but more than ever, confirmed by my colleagues, this is the time to figure out how we all fit together. During a month that is about love, deeper connection and the celebration of membership here at FPS I invite us to engage deeply these questions of call, purpose and place.

The first step and each successive step is all about each one of us as individuals, each takes courage, and we can find courage in abundance within this dedicated community of journeyers on a weekly basis.

I love this community, I love each one of you as my own, Happy Valentine’s Day and if you ever need me I am here.

Rev. Marjorie