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We Have Only Just Begun…

image014Momentum is building. Over the last several weeks we have met and discussed, we have cultivated a sense of hope and have begun to cultivate a culture of “yes.” In September we spent our Sundays thinking about the different ways that we can speak our truth in love to one another. I have asked you to enter into our new ministry with an open heart and mind, to suspend judgement, and to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. These should be the guiding principles for any community and especially one such as ours.

We are an intentional Unitarian Universalist Community. We choose to come together to imagine the world as a safer more peaceful place that cares about the condition of all the inhabitants of this planet. We choose to spend our time, energy, and financial resources with the hope that what we create together will be special and will make a difference. In order to achieve this we will need to pull together and become one community working towards a goal… This is where is becomes a little tricky because from what I can tell there are several goals that we can work together to achieve.

The first goal is financial stability, which in truth, you are not that far away from. It seems that at various times in your history First Parish has faced into some challenging financial times and so this has become your story. What I mean by this is that the culture is one in which the members worry about having enough resources to keep staff, and the doors open because it wasn’t always easy to do. Throughout history the women’s alliance has had to pay for a minister in the lean times and the community has tightened its belt when needed. I am working with the Board and Finance Committee to better understand the reality of this years budgetary shortfall and we are already beginning to create a plan where we will not have to spend time worrying about FIrst Parish’s financial stability. Our goal should be sustainability and we are almost there.

Welcoming new members would be another goal that many of us would like to achieve. That one is pretty simple really… It requires that we create great worship, a welcoming and caring community that is energized about being together, and a way to include new people into the mix helping them to feel immediately like an insider. We then publicize what we are doing far and wide and we invite everyone we know and meet to come experience this special happening at First Parish. The community will grow if we are willing to invite people to participate. To create a community/world that is founded on hope and love we must do it one person at a time… I am working with the Community and Hospitality Committee as well as the Pastoral Associates Group and the Worship Associates group to imagine a community that really cares, supports, and is outward focused towards the needs of the larger metrowest  and beyond. If you stayed after worship for fellowship hour on September 22nd you may have participated in the Living Our Faith initiative this is just the beginning of being more present as a force for change in our local and global community.

Lastly, we want to create a welcoming place at the crossroads for people to find a sense of community and meaning. There is no better location for First Parish to be sitting in Sudbury. You are literally at the crossroads and our goal is fairly simple, to let our light shine. To reflect what makes us special into the surrounding community. On September 15th we came outside to picnic on the green and people saw us doing so… They saw us having fun together and our youth dancing, people noticed and wondered what was going on. Moving forward, I would like us to find ways of being seen at our crossroads whether it is through signage or our physical presence on the green. First Parish of Sudbury is one of the best kept secrets in town. I am working with your Board of Trustees, Building and Grounds, and the Landscape Committee to think about how we enter the building and use space inside and out always keeping in mind the seeker that arrives at our door.

If you, whether you are a youth, adult, or elder, have any ideas about how we can achieve these goals in the coming months and years please seek me out and lets talk. It will take each one of us working together to take First Parish to the place of your hopes and dreams. It will take us developing and agreeing on a plan to achieve our goals. Friends we are clearly beginning to move! Let us build consensus and momentum not as individuals per se but as a community of seekers who are engaged and empowered enough to believe that we can make a difference!

You are an amazing community and I am absolutely thrilled to be with you!

Rev. Dr. Marjorie J. Matty (aka Marjorie)