Pages Navigation Menu

Evolution as a Spiritual Practice…

Posted by on Mar 28, 2014 in Minister's Column

Dear Friends,

March has been some kind of busy month with lots of strategic thinking, some dancing, a successful annual pledge drive with many of you increasing your pledge (thank you!), and the good news that Roberta Altamari will be remaining at First Parish in the role of Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry! This is great news that Roberta is staying for 15 hours a week but let us also be mindful that her role will be evolving as she makes way for a new Director of Religious Exploration. So many exciting changes, yet reflecting on last August I have to be honest and share that my head is spinning. We have come so far in seven months and I am very impressed, amazed actually, that when I hit the ground running that you have kept up with the pace and in many ways have outpaced me! You are an amazing congregation of loving and compassionate people! I am not sure about you but when I think back about the highlights of this last seven months I am blown away, we have literally come miles since August.

We are growing and evolving and with this we must also expect change, what you will read in this connector is that our Office Administrator, Donna Scalcione has decided that the time has come for her to transition in her own life. In conversations with Donna she explained to me simply that, “it is time.” I support Donna’s decision to make this transition out of staff and back into the congregation and wish her and her wife Bev all the happiness on their journey. As both Roberta and Donna transition please take the time to reach out to both and thank them for the important roles that they played during a time of significant upheaval in the life of First Parish! Not skipping a beat, the search teams have been chosen and we are imagining our evolving needs and the required qualifications of two new staff members, the Director of Religious Exploration – who will focus specifically on our younger children and a new Office Administrator.

Where do we go from here? We continue to evolve, however, let me assure you that the pace is going to slow down a bit starting April 1st. Our goal for the remainder of the year will be to continue to flesh out our strategic thinking based on the meeting we had on March 8th. We will review our financial landscape with the help of your stewardship committee, the Finance Committee and the Board of Trustees so that we can imagine a sustainable future. With 80% of the pledges in it seems that we will see a slight increase in pledges overall and friends if you have not turned in your pledge card as of yet I would encourage you to do so. Your generosity, as we sort out income and our budget, will be greatly appreciated. Ultimately, over the next year we will continue to evolve and debate the inclusion of solar energy on our campus, upkeep of our facilities and how we can best share who we are and what First Parish has to offer the larger metro west community.

As the buds break forth, we turn to tending the soil, and longer and warmer days arrive we will slow down a bit and shift our focus slightly. Yet nothing is static those buds have been preparing this entire time to burst forth, even without our attention, change and evolution is inevitable. Let us be truly hopeful! Let us be abundantly mindful! I offer this piece of Buddhist wisdom as we endeavor to finish out our church year strong, “permanence is an illusion” so you can either struggle against or embrace change. One thing is for certain if we desperately clutch onto a sense of permanence we will suffer. Instead, let us embrace the evolution of life as a spiritual practice of mindful witness and graceful fine-tuning.

Peace and much Love,

Rev. Marjorie

Read More