Last weekend, my partner John and my kid Sol and I enjoyed being at Sunday worship with many of you and we look forward to seeing you again in upcoming weekends. My mom even got to attend online! I continue to be excited about getting our shared ministry off to a great start. One way we will be doing this is through a new ministry start-up workshop facilitated by Rev. Sarah Gibb-Millspaugh from UUA congregational life. The board and VUU staff will be meeting with Sarah Gibb-Millspaugh on September 24, and we invite you to join us after services on September 25 (times TBA) to be part of a congregational workshop as well with her. We will need some volunteers to help out with this event, so please reach out to me if you want to help. I’ll have more information soon! Please SAVE the DATE!
As I have been meeting with staff and VUU leaders, it’s clear to me that everyone is very committed to making VUU a community that is living its values and building its capacity to bring those values to our wider community. It is also clear to me that we are still experiencing, and will be for some time, the realities of being in transition. Three of your staff members became staff during the pandemic (or, pandammit, as some folks have lovingly renamed it!). This congregation has also begun to plan some changes to the sanctuary and major updates to the audio/visual equipment are underway. A lot is in flux! As we learn with and from each other, I want to remind all of us what it means to extend “grace and space” to another.
For me this means being prepared to not be “first in line” or for someone to not have an immediate answer or solution; it means taking the time to research and consider the steps we are taking before taking them, and to not make assumptions about each other when things happen differently than we expected or hoped for them to. It also means understanding we will sometimes be the one making a mistake and sometimes be the one giving someone else the grace and space to learn and to address issues. ‘Grace and space’ also means that your new staff might not do everything the way your former staff did it, which might be welcome and might be challenging. We need time to both learn our jobs and apply our own talents, interests and experiences to the work we are doing. We are also getting to know each other and sort out how we will function as a team of staff and volunteers. DEEP BREATH! It’s going to be great, and when it’s not…remember to extend each other some grace and space. I also sometimes reference this as moving at the speed of trust. Trust comes from relationship, and relationships take time, grace and space. The more we invest now in building trust, the more capacity we will have to be the kind of place VUU aspires to be!
In gratitude for the work of so many who have contributed to VUU,