Dear UCM members and friends,
Our March worship theme of “Journey” is very much on my mind as I count down the days to my departure to Honduras on March 18 for an interfaith “Root Causes of Migration” pilgrimage. Preparing for a journey like this one requires physical, material, emotional, and spiritual readiness. I have many questions running through my mind: Can I maintain my physical health enough to feel ready to leave and healthy while I’m away? What do I need to bring with me to feel that I have what I need for those eight days of travel? How can I prepare myself emotionally and spiritually to be ready to engage in a new experience, meet new people, and make meaning of this journey? What do I need to tend to here with you and in my personal life to feel okay about stepping away?
I find the four stages of pilgrimage that I have been learning about to be helpful in this preparation: motivation & longing, preparation & departure, journey – the way, and return & promise.
[C]aminante, no hay camino se hace camino al andar.
Traveler, there is no road, the road is made as we go.
~ Antonio Machado
In these days prior to leaving, I am reflecting on the reasons I am called to participate in this pilgrimage, what I seek to learn, and how my own life story is connected to the history and people of Honduras. The journey I have been on as a Unitarian Universalist has called me many times over to reflect on who and how I want to be in the world as well as for whom and with whom. Within our spiritual community at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier, I witness so many examples of people choosing to engage in loving service of others. I believe that part of my journey with you as your minister involves finding those ways that I am most called to serve the world and to engage in dialogue and conversation with you about this service. I look forward to talking with you more about this journey in the days before my departure and after I return on March 25.
In the next few weeks, we have an exciting opportunity to engage in discernment, commitment, and generosity as members of our spiritual community. Our Annual Budget Drive for the 2019-2020 church year begins on Sunday, March 10 with the theme, “Fuel Our Flame.” One of the principles of pilgrimage is that we rely on each other for it is always a new journey. We, too, rely on each other within our congregation.
We care for one another with the gifts of a listening ear, warm meals, smiles, and laughter. The generosity of our time and many talents allows us to carry out our mission as a spiritual community engaged in shared ministry. And, our generous financial contributions are key to ensuring we can sustain our church community for one another continuing to be the people we desire to be and make a positive difference in the world.
I hope you will consider with an open and generous heart the many ways you can engage with our congregation to nurture your own spiritual journey – and others’ as well – in the months to come.
With gratitude and love,