This Sunday is the big transition day at North Parish. In the morning we’re wrapping up our fall themes of heritage, gratitude and generosity, but after the service we shift to the can-do energy and wild community barn-raising that we call the Red Bow Fair. Thank you to all newcomers and new members who are dipping their toes in the Red Bow Fair water or who jumped into the deep end; thank you to all of our North Parish alumni who are re-surfacing or contributing or bidding at the Fair; thank you to all of the hard “worker bees” and all of the leaders who have been working behind the scenes for weeks and months; thank you to Fair Chair, Keith Wentzel, for agreeing to captain the ship one last time!
Meanwhile, a conversation about the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Andover (UUCiA) merging with North Parish has begun in earnest. We are exchanging background information and the NP Board has assembled a Merger Team to meet with Andover folks beginning Dec. 10th. I was surprised to note in the history document that UUCiA sent over that it appears the two congregations have shared a minister in the past. The Rev. Sam Beane (at NP from 1905-1909) is also listed as minister of the First Unitarian Society in Lawrence (the former name for UUCiA) for that same time period. And the Rev. William S. Nichols (at NP from 1909- 1919) is also listed as minister of First Unitarian for five of those years, from 1915- 1919. It seems our congregations have collaborated before!
There is a common African American expression: “Making a way out of no way.” That possibility is often attributed to the joint efforts of ancestors, community and God. I think it can be a powerful expression for non-theists as well, as we face things large and small. Often, it is what we “people of faith” set out to do in this fantastically precious but deeply troubled world: to make a way out of no way. Not by ourselves alone but by relying on the gifts of our ancestors, the wisdom/ strength/ resilience/ vision of community, human creativity and determination, the creativity of life and the energy of love and generosity unfolding in the world.
In the words of Katherine Hannigan, let’s plan to maximize fun, avoid disaster and- possibly– save the world. I’m all in!
Yours through the transitions,