In the Interim: Reverend Terry Sweetser

Thank you for so graciously welcoming me to your wonderful congregation! I’ve been struck by the many successes you have to celebrate: integrating Mick into congregational life; completing an ambitious capital campaign; making the vision of that campaign a reality; giving a heartfelt farewell to Sara; finding an Interim Minister and Music Director; and above all maintaining this precious community.

Still, it amounts to a lot of change and change is stressful. It stresses us out because we aren’t sure what to expect anymore, because we grieve the loss of people and programs we cherished and because we don’t know what the future holds. It’s hard to come in the door, see things are different and wonder why you didn’t get the memo.

We will have some ups and downs. Mistakes will be made and many of them will be made by me. No matter how hard we try to be transparent, there will be surprises and as we all know surprised folks can get a bit annoyed. But through it all if we can maintain our basic faith in humanity, cultivate our senses of humor and laugh together, this congregation will thrive into the future.

Please come to services. Remember we will be trying some new elements and switching some around. It will be amazing (and sometimes annoying)! Oh, and for future reference this is the memo.

May those of us who are blessed, bless the world.

 

In the Interim: Reverend Terry Sweetser

As I begin my time as your Interim Minister, I’m struck by the many ways all of us are drawn together. We are attracted to this supportive congregation in Wellesley Hills, Ma. We are inspired by our free, optimistic faith. We need each other.

As George Odell put it:

We need one another when we mourn and would be comforted… when we are in trouble and afraid… when we despair, in temptation, and need to be recalled to our best selves again.

We need one another when we would accomplish some great purpose, and cannot do it alone… in the hour of our successes, when we look for someone to share our triumphs [and] in the hour of our defeat when with encouragement we might endure and stand again.

We need one another when we come to die, and would have gentle hands prepare us for the journey. All our lives we are in need, and others are in need of us.

During this church year I hope we can go deeper into how all our lives we are in need and others are in need of us. We will explore the possibilities of being in community.

UU religious community is a precious gift. Within it, we find values and questions that are rarely encountered elsewhere in our lives. Values and questions that push us, ground us and remind us who we most deeply are. So this year we honor this gift of community and its role as caretaker of values. Together we will ask: What is it we find when we gather? And what is it we are asked to share with the world?

In September we will consider the promises we make to be in community and wonder about the ancient concept of covenant.