From Our President

Apr 2019
Dear Friends of UUCCSM,
 
Inside Out…
 
I am sad to know that Reverend Greg is leaving us near the end of June. It has been a true privilege to work closely with someone as experienced in ministry and organizational change as he is; and to feel like the work that we began — collectively as a congregation — two years ago is starting to pay off.
 
I am happy to hear he is leaving to be close to the people he loves the most and I wish him all the contentment that comes with marriage and proximity to family.
 
And I’m sitting with mystery and uncertainty as we seek our next minister, knowing that everything is changing always. With a spiritual practice that grounds me in this moment and gives me perspective on the cosmic picture, I’m able to practice some equanimity sometimes, and I’m working to put my energy and thinking into constructive thought patterns rather than destructive ones.
 
Reflecting on Rev. Greg’s ministry here
 
As someone who specializes in Developmental Ministry, Rev. Greg has made his most meaningful life’s work helping congregations across the country become healthier and more vibrant.
 
In his first service in September 2017 he came with a “backpack full of tools” to help us become a congregation that honors each other and is committed to work together with purpose to make the world better with our faith.
 
He’s like the personal trainer who’s come to help us train for the marathon. With his leadership and support we have definitely developed some endurance and strength and we have more energy to do good work. I’m excited for what that means for us.
 
Specifically, we are managing differences better, learning how to communicate in ways that are affirming. We have newly skilled teams working in pastoral care, worship development, communications, right relations and stewardship. And we have increased our financial stability by gaining a greater understanding of the resources that it takes to be a congregation working for good in Santa Monica today.
 
The road ahead
 
As far as what comes next, the Board of Directors has put together a team of folks experienced in successful search for ministers. Indeed, four out of five of us on the team worked together to bring Rev. Greg here. We are working in close partnership with the UUA Ministerial Transitions Office to identify the most appropriate candidates for us. That’s part of what they do for congregations in Developmental Ministry. The process is going to be swift and we expect to be able to introduce you to our minister for the next 3-5 years by the middle of June.
 
What can we do as members of this community during this time of transition?
 
Connect with someone new or old and hit a Monday night meditation class.
 
Pack some sack lunches for homeless folks on a Sunday.
 
Pick something from our community garden and eat it knowing it’s been grown with love.
 
Join in a Second Sunday Supper.
 
If we can enjoy each other in the moment and tend to the spirit that helps us imagine how we can better be love’s hands in the world, all will be well.
 
We will welcome our new minister in September and continue the developmental work we’ve begun: laying the groundwork to equip us to do important work so that those who come after us benefit from the impact of our faith.
 
We’ll collectively celebrate Rev. Greg on June 23. More details to come.
 
Peace and love,
— Jacki
 
PS – if you want to reach out, I’m always available at president@uusm.org.