by Rev. Bill Gupton
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
I write this having just come home from my first church event back following my annual winter break – a time for rest and renewal after the hectic holiday season. This year, that break included more than a week straight of sub-freezing daytime temperatures and single-digit nighttime temperatures. In other words, a lot more time than usual spent indoors, hunkered down and hibernating.
Which is why I was delighted to see so many of you – two dozen, in fact – at our congregational forum to discuss the changes that are taking place at the denominational level in Unitarian Universalism. Yes, the conversation was difficult, even painful at times, as folks expressed deeply held hopes and dreams, reservations and concerns, about the direction of our shared faith. There were tears as well as hugs. But, there was also a palpable, profound appreciation for the power, the strength, and the bond that is the foundation of this community we call Heritage: Love.
I left tonight’s gathering, yes, with unresolved concerns about Unitarian Universalism – but also with an even deeper faith in Heritage Church. In what we have created here together. In what previous generations created here, and passed down to us. This is a very special place, and we are very blessed to have found it, and to be a part of it. Together, and individually, we are leaning into, and living into, difficult times. But we are doing so as we have always done – centering Love. Being thoughtful and respectful. Apologizing, when that is called for. Demonstrating compassion.
After a few weeks away, I hadn’t realized how much I was missing this community. Its people. You. As one of our small group ministries puts it, We Need Each Other. I am thankful for the reminder of the blessing that it is to share this journey with you.
Namaste, my friends.