|From the Executive Director|
September went by so fast. I guess that could be said for almost any month, especially as I get older, but it was especially true this month. I suspect the main reason I say that is because I was on the road almost every day. Travel is one of the requirements of my job but I can’t remember a month when I visited more states (nine) than I did in September. And that’s not to mention the states I “virtually” visited with video conference calls.
What’s most important about the last month aren’t the growing frequent flyer miles in my account or the widening bags under my eyes from being in too many time zones; it’s the work we are doing in ministry and in the service of the UUMA. I’ve met with community ministers and retired ministers, with local clusters and UUMA/UUA staff, with our CENTER team and our new Collegial Developmental Committee and with the many task forces and coordinating teams working on our various programs and projects that are new and ongoing. So many people are working so hard in their ministries and on behalf of the UUMA. I’m both excited and a bit overwhelmed by everything we are doing.
I learn a lot by traveling around the continent meeting and working with so many of you. I learn how hard it is for us to communicate all the things that are happening. I learn, in new ways, the challenges and opportunities we face in our ministries and lives. I re-learn and remember how dedicated and inspiring you are. I learn about the innovations and the frustrations that ministry invites into our lives. And I learn about what seems to be working and what we need to keep working on to be better.
This week I will be celebrating two anniversaries that I never imagined I would see. I will be married to Kathleen for 29 years on October 5. Being a child of divorce (my parents were married a total of seven times to different people) the odds of our making 29 years were pretty low. And I will have been the UUMA’s Executive Director 5 years and 1 day on October 2. I’ve been working regularly since I was 11 years old and I’ve never been in the same job for more than 5 years…until now.
I’m not sure if becoming a minister helped or hurt getting to my wedding anniversary. Probably a little of both. I do know that becoming a minister has everything to do with the second anniversary. There is something about serving people who have chosen to give their lives in service to something greater than themselves, people who dream big dreams and who keep coming back even when those dreams — and their hearts — are broken that makes my work feel meaningful and never boring. Thank you for all you do and, today, mainly for that. Time for me to catch a plane or is it a train….