Pages Navigation Menu

In the Beginning…

Hello members and friends of First Parish!  I hope that, for the most part, you are enjoying your summer fun.  I personally love the summer, and yet the last couple of months have been a challenge after deciding to sell my home in Jamaica Plain and move out to Metrowest.  I felt that is was important to be close to Sudbury as I began my ministry so I made it my goal to be living in the area before homecoming Sunday.  Little did I know what it would take, and I have to admit that it is one thing to have challenge foisted upon us and quite another to actually invite and welcome it into our lives.  So as I write this Connector column I officially live in Stow.   Over the last few months I have been keeping a close eye on how things were going at FPS and working closely with your interim minister, Rev. Tracey.  I have met with Tracey a few times and received updates about members of the congregation.  I know that many of us in the last few months have faced challenging news, disappointment, loss, a difficult diagnosis and/or surgery.  Not all of the challenges that you have faced have been negative, but even the exciting news of a new job can raise one’s anxiety with the possibility of change.  The coveted summer months in New England are meant to be enjoyed at a slow leisurely pace, but it seems that many have had to negotiate transitions and embrace the reality of re-imagining his or her identity.  This is not a new phenomenon in our lives so… “here we are once again.”  As we face the challenges, crossroads and, changes of life I want you to know that, if you are in need or struggling, First Parish of Sudbury is here for you.  As your new minister I am here to travel with you on your journey wherever it may lead; please keep in mind that you are not alone… If you reach out we will be there.

As a congregation of seekers we have a commitment to one another to face what may come; we are on this journey as individuals together.  It is my pleasure to guide, remind, minister to you, and inspire you to endeavor towards a future of our own design.  I have been thinking about the members, friends and visitors of First Parish since you called me to be your 44th minister on April 28th.  I have to admit that it was hard to build all of the energy that we did during candidating week  to then go into hibernation until my start date, August 19th. What waiting has helped me to realize over these months is that slow and steady will help us to achieve our goals.  Since officially beginning my ministry with you I have met with many members and the leadership of FPS to discuss our direction and goals.  The one consistent message that I have shared in every meeting is that in the beginning was the word.  What I am referring to is not necessarily biblical but practical. Words contain power to help or hurt and in our first month together we will endeavor to understand and practice “Speaking Our Truth in Love.”  It is a well known fact that communication and miscommunication can make or break a community, thus, it will be our first skill and spiritual/religious practice to investigate.  “Speaking Our Truth in Love” entails making a commitment to suspend judgement and to be acutely aware of our innate vulnerability and endeavor to bring our higher selves to bare in relation to one another.  We will begin September, by sharing in our Unitarian Universalist water ritual on the 8th, officially welcome the new minister, that would be me, with a picnic on the green (aka a fancy name for the FPS lawn) on the 15th and actively engage our minds and hearts throughout the month. I will be speaking about such topics as the nature of language and expression and how we can be a truly genuine and intentional congregation. I ask for your patience in the coming months as we enter a time of experimentation in worship and leadership. Please feel free to share feedback with me, but refer to the aforementioned “speaking your truth IN LOVE” when doing so. 🙂

It is absolutely my pleasure to be starting this September as your minister and to know with full confidence that together we will realize our hopes and dreams for the First Parish of Sudbury.  We have so much to look forward too, even though at times we may feel challenged to the core.  Rev. William Ellery Channing, one of our Unitarian forefathers, once shared, “Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage.  The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.”  May we move bravely and boldly into our future inspired by the challenges that we face and willing to be changed by them for the better.

In Love,

Rev. Marjorie