I’ve referred to it as "5 States in 5 Weeks" — a week in Oregon for the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly, then a week back in Texas for (YAY!) the Festival of Weddings, then two weeks of vacation in Colorado and New Mexico, then back to work at the Southwestern UU Summer Institute in Oklahoma.

It was all great, but at the end, I was definitely thinking, "Can I come home now?"

Austin kept being Austin while I was gone, oddly enough. A cobra was on the loose, politicians vowed to fight against gay marriage ("Time to cut your losses, guys. Here, have some wedding cake."), and at Live Oak, members continued ministering to each other, as we do year-round.

During the next couple of weeks, I’ll be here, but on study leave. I’ll be reading church-related books and doing research both for sermons and for strategic planning for the new church year. I’ll be taking a couple of days to attend a retreat in Houston that will teach me more about supporting members in developing their "burning coals" and how all of us can more deliberately live out our core values. I will be checking email, though I might be a little slower at responding.

Now, I have a question for you – what’s a dream that you have for Live Oak for the next year? Let me know – minister@liveoakuu.org.