It’s a little unsettling coming to work each day in a construction zone. Right outside our windows at 1 Edwin Place we watch as trenches are dug, trees are uprooted, and jackhammers pound to the chorus of construction vehicles beep-beeping along. But bit by bit as the foundations are poured we get the first glimpses of how the vision this congregation created a year ago is taking shape, and it’s thrilling to see.
For me, there’s a spiritual lesson in all of this. Change is something we all know something about, and whenever we’re caught in the middle of it we recognize that there are always losses that we regret as well as new opportunities that present themselves. There will be aspects of the space where we gather that we like that we will lose in this project. But it is our hope that the changes we are making will open new ways for us to grow that will strengthen and empower us to realize the mission that this community has set for itself.
I keep in mind that amid all of this turmoil there is a plumb line that guides us. However our building is configured, our hopes for this congregation remain what they have been: to create here a community of memory and hope that serves the hopes of liberal religion, that regards as sacred the essential worth and dignity of each person and that honors our dependence on and responsibility to a larger world of all life, that invites each of us into lives of compassion, service, meaning and joy. How we will live into this charge remains to be seen, but at a time when so many forces are splintering communities and threatening our planet there is no debating the urgency of the need we seek to serve.
I hope that as we watch our new spaces take shape, we will also look to lay the groundwork for the next stage of the beloved community that we aspire to create.