Leap of Faith

I am making a Leap of Faith. Actually, First Church is making a Leap of Faith. We have agreed to be a “mentoring” congregation in a Unitarian Universalist Association program designed to encourage “aspiring” congregations to learn from what larger congregations do well. As this is being posted, I am in Sacramento at the launch conference for this program.

Throughout this church year, we will be working with leaders from the Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden, CO, with whom we have been paired. Jefferson (JUC as they often call themselves) is a thriving UU congregation, located in a suburb of Denver. Among their claims to fame is that our current UUA President, Rev. Peter Morales, served them for several years during their last period of rapid growth.

I’ve been in conversation with Golden’s new Senior Minister, Rev. Wendy Williams, over the last six months. Golden qualifies as “large” in the UU world, but they are about half our size. They hope to learn something from us about governance as well as creating and managing an effective social justice ministry. They have a long list of hopes for this relationship.

The First Church Board has blessed this effort. It is one of the many ways that we contribute to Unitarian Universalism. But this will not be just a one-way street. Golden is known for it’s welcoming of visitors and it’s new member programs. In fact, they “made the video” on welcoming that some of you may have seen.  They also have two satellite campuses up and running. Just as we have things to teach, there is much that we can learn from them.

Here in Sacramento, former Board Moderator Marilyn Scott,—one of our experts on Policy-Based governance—Rev. Kate Lore and I will be working with the Golden leadership team to lay out a program of communication and sharing throughout the year. The Golden team will visit First Church in October.  Some of our key leaders and staff will be directly involved in this relationship, but I hope you will all join me in welcoming them to worship when they visit.

Somehow, it is the season for Leaps of Faith and recommitment to our vision. I hope to see many of you at the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington on Saturday. On September 8th we will return to two services and the formal “church year” will begin. As the summer draws to a close, it is time to gather the spirit, renew our energy and be ready for the leaps of faith the coming year will call us to take.