This Month's Message
Interim Journal: April 20, 2013
Rev. Linda Bunyard
I have just spent a week with sixty colleagues who have given themselves in service to the UU movement by committing to be professional transitional ministers. I know most of these ministers very well. We meet annually to be with ministers who know the kind of intense work we do, to learn something new in a seminar setting, and to honor the journey with worship, stories, and music. Many of us had been through a difficult year with congregations that fought the very thing that interim ministers are sent to do: lead through a time of change. Two of us had been through life-threatening illness while doing full time interim ministry this year. This week most of us were launched on a ten day job hunt for their next interim position, as I have been for each of the last six years (thankfully, not this year!)
I experienced so many insights at the conference that it will take weeks for me to fully process it all. I was reminded that the interim "agenda" continues through the second year. The Minister that you will settle on a year from now will not have an agenda like mine. His or her agenda for the first year will be to get to know and appreciate you and lead awesome worship experiences on Sunday. My agenda as Interim Minister is to prepare the way.
Last fall we hit the ground running in this relationship. I learned everything I could about Live Oak's ministry and business as well as meeting as many of you as possible in a short period of time. The Interim Transition Team set up focus groups to allow you to both speak and listen to one another about your grief and your hopes for this congregation.
We celebrated the 20th Anniversary of this congregation but there is a much deeper process that we do with history in interim time. The ITT is looking for individuals who will work with me on a weekend workshop this fall for the whole congregation. We will build a timeline with names and dates and photos as well as your memories. Then we will hang it on the walls for a few months. We will invite you to remember stories from each of the eras of this congregation. We will come to a deeper understanding of why this beautiful Live Oak grew in the way it did and the ways in which it developed its burls and twists and became the beautiful, experienced tree that it is today.
If it hasn't happened already, this is about the time in the first year that you may find yourself disagreeing with the leadership of the interim minister. If you disagree with me, come talk about it with me. Conflict is on the agenda for the coming year, too—a workshop on Managing Conflict. Notice I did not say "resolving" conflict.
I am so happy to be planning for a second year of interim ministry with Live Oak UU Church! We can go deeper in our theology, deeper in our justice work, deeper in faith development, and deeper in the development of our leadership, structure and governance.
Blessings on the Journey,
Need Your Stories: Soldiers for Peace
As I am planning for our Memorial Day weekend service I would like to hear from those who have given military service. If you would be willing to talk to me or be a part of a group conversation about this please let me know at email@example.com. Rev. Linda
Minister’s availability in May
Email: I will not be reading and answering email from Sunday evening through Monday. Email is the first thing on my agenda on Tuesday morning: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Urgent situations: Call my cell phone 512-927-7230.