My Last Parson to Person
June 30, 2023
I want to thank you all for my "send off" on my last official Sunday with you (June 25th). The festivities that day were not just inspiring but so much fun! I especially enjoyed the jokes about my manilla-folder visual aids and word etymologies, as well as the references to my oft-quoted "little-known-and-less-cared-about facts." I also loved the book of pictures that included comments from UCN members and friends; it will hold an honored and accessible place in our home, so I can take it out once in a while to use as a "gratitude journal." (I even got a couple helium balloons from one of you--in honor of a previous p2p column on balloons (showing me that some of you actually do read these columns!).
And the food! Did I mention the food? (What we ate there and took home was wonderful!)
What I truly didn't expect was the gift of $3,000 in visa cards, which Craig and I have already started using. (Every time we do, I think of your great generosity.)
You know, there's a saying I like that is sometimes attributed to the Buddha:
In the end, only three things matter--
How well did I live?
How well did I love?
How well did I learn to let go?
Well, thank you, my UCN friends, for helping me with all three. Although I will still preach at UCN on occasion (actually 3 times in July!), my official ministry with you ends on June 30th, so this is my last "p2p." I want you to know that my time with you came at a point in my life when I especially needed this community. Please know how grateful I am for the last 4 years (and my monthly visits in the year and a half before that). You have made my transition from full-time ministry to retirement (well, semi-retirement!) a joyful journey, and UCN will continue to hold a special place in my heart--a treasure box from which I will gather sustenance and wisdom for my road* ahead.
peace and unrest,
*Or way, path, pathway, highway, street, boulevard, drive, walk, walkway, overpass, avenue, peregrination, route, odyssey, runway, track, trail, line, lane, drive--you get the idea. Also, a little-known-but-less-cared-about fact: "road" comes from the Old English word "rad" (of Germanic origin), meaning "journey on horseback" or "foray." It is, of course, related to the word "ride." Need I say more?