When I wrote to you last, you had just extended me the call to be your associate pastor. After presenting the terms of call to the Committee on Ministry, they voted to approve my application for ordination. As a result, I am pleased to invite all of you to my ordination service on May 23rd at 3pm at First Congregational Church. It will be a hybrid service and have both in-person and online options for attendance. I would love for you to participate in whatever way feels comfortable for you. More details to follow.
When it comes to our life together, I am so excited for what is to come! In the immediate, that looks like finishing up the conversations we have been having twice weekly since January. They have been a wonderful opportunity to build community and dream together and will lead to the re-formation of a visioning committee to help guide VGUCC into the future. It has truly been a privilege to spend this time together. If you’ve been meaning to make it to the conversations but haven’t yet, it’s not too late! We’d love to have you and hear your perspective.
On June 6th, we send Clare off on her sabbatical journey and begin our own discernment and growth work. Through a variety of spiritual and educational experiences, we will deepen our understanding of what it means to stand in solidarity with our Black and brown siblings and chart a course toward embodying our commitment to justice. It will be a challenging summer, I am sure, but I expect it to be deeply transformational and shape our ministry for years to come. For more information, read Clare’s article and take a look through the sabbatical grant application.
During Clare’s sabbatical, we will also be laying the groundwork for a safe return to in-person worship. We are in the midst of creating a team to work on the details and logistics – if that sounds like something you’re interested in helping with, please reach out to Kayan! Though the autumn might feel like a long way away, we will be so engaged in our work over the summer that it will be here before you know it. I can’t wait to be together! I am especially excited for those who’ve become covenantal partners since the beginning of the pandemic to be able to attend worship in 3D!
As we contemplate what comes next, the powerfully important task before us is to gather up all we have learned and experienced and amalgamate it into an incarnate vision for Vista Grande’s future. Though part of me aches to return to something that feels “normal”, I believe it is the work of people of Spirit and Faith to dream big and step boldly into what is to come. We have been given an opportunity to radically re-think how and why we do what we do and deepen our commitment to building the world we dream of. It’s hard work. It’s exhausting. It can be uncomfortable and emotional and taxing. But the sustaining gift we have is that our committed, vulnerable, courageous family of faith is walking this road together. Together, we can accomplish surprising and beautiful things.
Above all, I hope you know how honored I am to be your pastor and to continue sharing in your lives. This is an incredible community and I am blessed to be part of it. If you want to connect, I am available for pastoral care, phone or Zoom calls, park walks, and more. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-886-3149 if I can be of service to you or your family. Each of you continue to be in my prayers.
Yours in fellowship and solidarity,