“May your life preach more loudly than your lips.”

― The Rev. William Ellery Channing (1780 – 1842)

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” – The Rev. Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)

― The Rev. Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)

Were your ears burning last Sunday? If you led a team or committee this past year, they should have been. During the service we thanked all of the past year’s leaders and volunteers. Thank goodness for all of you!

We also had our last Sunday service in the sanctuary with the high pulpit behind me since we expect the accessibility and renovation project to go forward this summer. I invited those who wished to see the view from “up there” or take a photo respectfully in the pulpit to do so. If you missed it, you have one more chance this Sunday when the service will be in the Chapel (in person only).

This week I did perform a little ritual of decommissioning the stairs and pulpit, using water from our water communion.  I offered gratitude for all the years of Sunday gathering and preaching that the stairs and pulpit have seen, all the years of receptive listening that have occurred in the sanctuary, and all the ripple effects of all the people living their values and beliefs through those years. The high pulpit has been there since March of 1845- so that’s a lot of preaching, a lot of listening, a lot of living! I also prayed that- in the unfolding and fullness of time and intention- this act of opening up the space would lead to opening up more hearts, more voices, and more kinds of sacred expression in our sacred space.

Part of what we do as a congregation is discern what we need to hang on to and what we need to let go of, and when, and why. We discern whether we will just coast along or loosen our hands, try a new thing and see what happens. Ministers, lay leaders, pulpits, parlor rugs, buildings, rituals, music, technology- even covenants and Bylaws- change over time. The congregation itself is constantly changing. But we keep our feet planted on the solid holy ground of love, kindness, honesty, accountability, our histories, our wisdom sources, our ethical principles and the blessings of community.

For 23 years I’ve been blessed by this community. I’m a lot greyer now than I was when I arrived! I guess I’ve changed… and so have you.

See some of you in the Chapel this Sunday,

Rev. Lee

P.S. If you don’t want to watch last Sunday’s service about Juneteenth but are curious about Hari Jones’ presentation on the true history about Americans of African descent saving the Union and democracy- and freeing themselves- here is the link.  Jones is the curator of the African American Civil War museum.  Juneteenth: A truthful telling: !