Two recent events, seemingly independent, deeply connected.
Last Saturday I spoke about “Who’s in charge here?” at the Membership Orientation that led to our welcoming of new members to our congregation on Sunday. I had thirty minutes to talk about our way of being together—governance—a topic, though important, that does not always leave people on the edge of their seats. My approach to the talk has been to say a bit about myself, then a bit about the history of our congregation, and then take a tour of governance-related documents on our congregation’s website. This seems to work.
What I have found most meaningful in giving these presentations is reviewing some of the things I’ve accumulated from participating in our congregation since 1983. Here are three things I found this year. One, the list of the 11 people who joined UUCA on November 13, 1983; Mary Alm joined that day, as did my wife of 47 years Jean Larson. Second, a sermon delivered by Mel Hetland, he of the scholarship featured in this month’s Community Plate, in 1997; this sermon is now in the hands of Rev. Ward. And third, I recaptured the name of Rev. Clarke Dewey Wells who served as our sabbatical minister in 1998 as best I can recall.
This Tuesday our Board of Trustees met for its monthly meeting. I always ask a question that allows us to get to know one another better. This month, in light of our sanctuary experience over the last year, I asked about what the experience might mean for our congregation. Answers varied—what has our experience meant for you?—but I recalled my uncertainty going in. And I expressed my gratitude that our congregation, working with many other congregations, reached out and worked together to make a difference in the life of one person, one family, ultimately many congregations.
Connecting these events in my mind is a sense of possibility, an openness to something new. Someone on the brink of joining our congregation has questions and perhaps some uncertainty about the path being embarked upon. A congregation on the brink of providing sanctuary has questions and perhaps some uncertainty about the path being embarked upon. And someone on the brink of taking sanctuary has questions and perhaps some uncertainty about the path being embarked upon. But each of us, individually and collectively, chose to explore possibility rather than rest in certainty. One definition of courage is “being afraid and doing it anyway.” We may not always be afraid when we act, but when we are afraid, may we be courageous when the moment comes.
Bruce Larson, Board of Trustees