The Art of Nimbleness

The ability to be nimble should never take the place of careful planning and organization, but part of being a congregation is the role of “the unexpected.” It can be serious and unfortunate, such as when one of our pipes became uncoupled January 23rd, causing a flood in our education wing, but it can also be joyful, such as when we become aware of an opportunity to express our values in public, as we will be doing on Monday, January 16, at the Leander MLK march.*

In both cases, we had willing members who were nimbly able to rush to the church to help with the flood, or fairly spontaneously register and make plans to assemble for the march.

The Texas Legislature has begun their 2023 session, and this will undoubtedly bring more times that will call for nimbleness. There will be calls for us to contact our congressional representatives, submit testimonies on pertinent planned legislation, or come down for a rally or to meet in person with legislators.

I’ll be talking more on Sunday about what is coming down the pike with the Texas Lege (and what it can mean for us, on a spiritual level), but the issue of nimbleness shouldn’t be considered only for responding to social (or accident) issues. Some of our most beloved traditions – such as Selfies with Santa – began in fairly spontaneous ways. We didn’t have months to plan, we simply jumped in and made things happen.

Again, I want to emphasize that “flying by the seat of our pants” is not great for an overarching organizational principle, of course! (You can imagine me laughing in a bit of horror at the idea.) We need to do planned and responsible things like set budgets, create calendars, and take long-range views.

But I do think it good, not only for the church, but for our own personal development, to loosen ourselves from our carefully laid plans and say “Yes!” to opportunities as they arise.

When I went on a trip to see a friend on my sabbatical, I set a guiding principle for myself that I was going to “follow Spirit,” which meant that I would say yes to any invitations or even opportunities for conversations with strangers. This was outside of my comfort zone – I’m not the most spontaneous person – but it paid off handsomely with new insights, new friends, and new adventures.

So … what might YOU say “Yes” to during the coming months?

*from Live Oak President Joel Bercu: March with Live Oak UU on Monday, January 16th for the City of Leander’s Martin Luther King Jr March and Celebration. We will be leaving from Camacho Elementary at 11:00am and making our way to Old Town Park where there will be a celebration featuring performances from dancers, musicians, choirs, and spoken word artists. If you would like to join in on the march please contact For more information about the MLK Day March and Celebration please see visit