During a Time of Emergence

We enter April this year working on the theme of Emergence in worship and our small groups. It’s a powerful religious concept that embraces growth, renewal, hope, and surprise. And we see it this time of year realized in the celebration of Easter as well as the awakening of life all around us.

We celebrate emergence because we know that whatever it is we’re working on, or whatever is working on us, we’re not done. There is more to come. But the unsettling thing is we’re not exactly sure what is coming, or what shape it will take. So, the discipline that comes with observing emergence is keeping ourselves open, attentive and focused.

We at UUCA are aware that we are in the midst of change that invites us to attend to what we want of this community and how we might prepare to bring it about. We are headed toward an important transition this summer when we will bid farewell to our Associate Minister Lisa Bovee-Kemper and welcome our new Minister of Faith Development Claudia Jimenez.

Already we have begun talking about ways to mark Lisa’s leave-taking and Claudia’s arrival in a way that honors both the wonderful ministry we have had with Lisa and what we look forward to with Claudia. You’ll hear more about that in days to come.

With that change in ministers, we also anticipate a change in the ministry of this congregation. With Claudia’s arrival, we are embracing the notion that faith development, the growing, learning, and awakening that happens in spiritual growth, is something that all ages, all times of life, take part in. None of us is finished. None of us is done.

We’re not yet sure of all that will encompass, but we have some ideas, and you’ll be hearing more about that as well. Along with that, we will continue our focus on strong Sunday worship and deeply engaged social justice work. Throughout this, let me invite you to adopt the disciplines of emergence – to be open, attentive and focused – and to stay connected. We are moving forward into this new time together. It is good to be in this work with you.

I close with one of the poems offered in our latest small ministry packet. You can find more on Emergence by clicking “Worship Theme” on our Web site.

Song of the Shattering Vessels

BY PETER COLE

Either the world is coming together,

or else the world is falling apart —

     here — now — along these letters,

     against the walls of every heart. 

Today, tomorrow, within its weather,

the end or beginning’s about to start —

     the world impossibly coming together

     or very possibly falling apart.

Now the lovers’ mouths are open —

maybe the miracle’s about to start:

      the world within us coming together,

      because all around us it’s falling apart. 

Even as they speak, he wonders,

even as the fear departs:

     Is that the world coming together?

     Can they keep it from falling apart?

The image, gradually, is growing sharper;

now the sound is like a dart:

     It seemed their world was coming together,

     but in fact, it was falling apart.

That’s the nightmare, that’s the terror,

that’s the Isaac of this art —

     which sees that the world might come together

      if only we’re willing to take it apart. 

The dream, the lure, is the prayer’s answer,

which can’t be plotted on any chart —

    as we know the world that’s coming together

    without our knowing is falling apart.

Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister

 

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