This past Sunday, on June 11th, I was ordained into the Unitarian Universalist ministry. It was the culmination of six years of training and preparation, and the fulfilment of a lifelong dream.
I’ve been open with you all about the fact that I consider myself first and foremost a UU, without a hyphenated identity tacked on. But I’m also very clear, as often as it comes up, that one of the strongest influences on and sources of faith for my UU identity is our sixth source: Earth-centered traditions. Because of that, I asked our CUUPS chapter, Chalice Fire, to charge the congregation’s gift to me — a ministerial stole — with energy at the Full Moon Drum Circle that took place before the ordination.
The stole now carries the imprint not only of all the work that went in to its creation — the custom design, the cutting, the stitching, but also the community gathered in our free, covenanted tradition. It holds a story of food shared among many, of looking upward to the sky to help us recognize our inner selves, of precious bodies making music and dancing in the night.
On to WinnipegThe ordination was my last service with this congregation. I have served them in one way or another for the last two years, and am now called to our congregation in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I will have a whole new ecosystem to learn — new air to breathe, new ground under my feet. New sounds of birds outside my office window as I prepare Sunday sermons, and new weather to help me feel the shift of the seasons through the cycle of the Earth, just like the cycles of life.
But all this newness will be held in the strength and comfort of our interdependent web, of the connections to the people and creatures I have known in my days leading up to this transition. This stole that I bring with me will always be a reminder of that history, of that love. And so as this community in Nashville charged the stole with their blessings, I am charged to pay their love forward into the world, with word and deed, as a Unitarian Universalist minister.
May it be so. Blessed be.