A Network of Gratitude

This past Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, his Network of Mutuality words inspired me. The events of the past few weeks move me to write about my own life’s network.

Entering the ministry elicits a broad range of emotions, from the exhilarating and passionate to the fearful and daunting. A life of ministry presents many paradoxes … crowded solitude … powerless authority … an overwhelming sense of knowing and being inadequately.

Throughout the journey, incredible people dedicate themselves to our call. Their love and support remind us of the importance of our quest, the viceral need for our ministries.

  • To the members and staff of the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh — you will always be my home church; the gardeners who provided the fertile soil to plant the seeds of my call.
  • To the children and youth I served — you fed my call and watched it grow toward maturity.
  • To religious educators everywhere — you welcomed my contributions, validated my gifts, and continue providing support for my expanded call.
  • To my fellow seminarians — you walk the road with me in love, and I eagerly anticipate years of mutual support and enduring care.
  • To my colleagues in New York — I eagerly anticipate our year together, having already experienced your inviting arms of welcome.

Specifically during the recent weeks, let me also thank the following people:

  • Betty, a warm and tireless pillar of First Church, thank you for your encouragement and for coordinating a farewell that touched me and epitomized the work of teaching congregations.
  • Laura, after walking many miles together, you freed me to follow my call — I wish you life’s greatest happiness.
  • Jen, my co-pilot for many years at First Church, I can only hope to work with someone as talented and caring in my future churches.
  • Linda, your engaging warmth and professionalism made finding exactly the apartment I wanted in New York not only successful, but enjoyable.
  • Jennifer, an amazing and vibrant woman, your hospitality will endure in my heart and mind long after two weary nights for my body.

To all those who have gone before us…

To my parents who gave me my tools of humanity…

To my children who continue to teach me…

To those who share my passions and struggle for a better world…

To everyone I will meet and spend time with on this road of life…

Thank you.