In the six years I’ve served at First Universalist, I’ve had many moments that have touched me deeply: child dedications, memorial services, music from the choir, Sunday worship, and so much more. Last Sunday, I experienced a moment unlike any other.
I loved the moment when we re-covenanted with Rev. Kate Tucker, when we welcomed her back to First Universalist, after three years of retirement, and we exchanged sacred words and promises with one another. In this ritual, Rev. Kate beautifully reminded the congregation that she “no longer serves in the role of associate minister, or pastor, or counselor, or any of that. I no longer serve you, the congregation, in these ways,” she said. “Now, when I serve here, I serve your fine ministers, the ones you’ve called and chosen. This is my privilege, and this is the essence of our new covenant together.” She concluded by saying, “Now, I gladly stand with the Rev. John Cummins and share his role – a role that is rooted in our dedication to the life and health of this great congregation.”
But it was the moment after this one that continues to resonate within me – it was the moment when Rev. Kate, John, Ruth, Jen, Elaine, and I stood together on the chancel. I felt the strength and power of the ministry of First Universalist, how this ministry, embodied in ministers and congregants alike, moves through buildings and history, and the challenges and opportunities of the times, but remains ever faithful to the Universalist spirit of love and hope.
It was a remarkable day and I felt blessed to serve this faith community.
I’ll see you in church,
Rev. Justin Schroeder