This is my last Beacon letter before I leave in July for my new post as Associate Minister at First Unitarian in Albuquerque. I’ve loved my time here and grown profoundly as a minister with your care and assistance. But leaving is still hard for everyone involved. It’s hard, but it can still be done well. The way to leave well is to create three things: celebration, covenant, and closure.
We will celebrate indeed. There’s a farewell party for Liz Martin and I on Saturday June 29 at 7 pm at the church. It’s an open house, so folks can pass through, say their goodbyes, have a snack, and go on with their evening. I hope to see you there.
And we will covenant. Liz and I will each spell out our covenants individually. Mine is not complete yet, but it means that I will step back from interacting with the congregation, including providing pastoral care, in deference to the new interim minister (soon to be Reverend) Karen Madrone. I’ll also support Rev. Karen as best I can as she settles into her new role. And I’ll be happy to answer questions from lay leaders about the ongoing work of the congregation to help with a smooth transition.
Finally, there will be closure. The service on Sunday June 30 will be about making a clean goodbye. There will be ritual and remembrance, and when it is over, hopefully it will be clear on a practical and emotional level that I’m not the minister of South Valley any more.
I don’t like leaving here, but I’m excited about the future for both myself and South Valley, and I’m warmed by my incredible memories of this fabulous year. This is a remarkable congregation, and I am so, so grateful that I got to serve you. Long may you run.