Lech Lecha: Go Forth
Lech Lecha, Go.
Leave what you know.
Leave who you have been.
Leave the old habits and ways
That have defined and shaped your life.
Take your strength, your support and what inspires your love
The destination is unknown,
But as you travel the path will appear.
And the goal of the journey?
The reason to leap,
To risk, to let go,
Is to be a blessing,
To discover anew the good that you are
And the many ways the Divine can come through you into the world.
It is difficult to leave, to let go and begin
And we are called to make this journey again and again.
There will be challenges along the way,
Heartache and pain
We will make mistakes,
We will rise,
We will fall,
And we will rise again.
Messengers will guide us.
Gifts will appear.
And even as fear arises
And doubts assail,
Let us not be deterred,
Because the ways we journey through this
Not just for us
But for all those who will call us ancestor.
I met this week to say goodbye (for now) with my dear friends of almost 40 years – Don and Patrick. They shared this prayer with me, and it has been with me all week. They commented that it reflected how I come and go and be part of communities at crucial times and then I go somewhere next.
That’s how I feel about our time together. From a spiritual perspective, I believe we were “assigned” by divine prompting and providence to travel through Covid19 together. I am so proud of all that we did accomplish: most remarkably that we are emerging through this period with an intact community, financially solid, visible in the community, and having cared for each other through an historically unprecedented pandemic. I especially credit the Council and Staff and also all of you for your faithfulness and commitment and flexibility.
In talking with my UCC colleagues doing ministry in this period, we have all noticed how the intensity of the period required something different from other interim periods. We were both interims and also more like settled pastors as a result of Covid, and not just in the length of tenure. We have embodied stability and continuity too. I have loved our Zoom services, the Reading Group, which grew quite a bit, and the intimacy of Thursday night prayer. As we transition in this period to both Zoom and in the room worship, I urge you to try out Thursday night prayer as a way of maintaining some of the connection that Sunday worship doesn’t provide.
We have retained new staff in this period. Darryl will be our new tech person to help us maximize technology to make our activities more accessible and our worship more contemporary. You will enjoy working with Rev. Michael Cronin between now and January while the Council makes longer term plans for 2022. Michael is thoughtful, creative, spiritually grounded, and most importantly trustworthy.
Keep tuned for a new Zoom link. Keep coming to church and Reading Group and Thursday night prayer and choir. If you’ve been away for a while, come back! If my mistakes or just my style have troubled you, I apologize from the bottom of my heart. Please know I have always believed in you and in your future and will always pray for you.
If you can, join us in person (masked!) or online Sunday (same Zoom link this week) to say goodbye. Eppie Encabo from the NCNC UCC will be our guest to lead a liturgy of farewell, and Diane Fahrner, President of the Peninsula Multifaith Coalition, will also help us lead worship, and you can meet Rev. Michael Cronin in person too.
Think of me on sunny days in the colder climate of Duluth, Minnesota, and send a warm thought. I’ve worked with five congregations during my cat Keats’s lifetime, and yours is the only one he attended regularly. We will both miss you.
Rev. Jim Mitulski
P.S. Here is an article about the medical marijuana interview with Rev. Jim that airs on Friday, October 15, on KALW 97.1 FM Bay Area. Warning: adult content. https://www.ebar.com/news/latest_news//309687 or at https://www.outinthebay.org/ anytime.