My calendar the past two weeks has been full of church activities; most recently and memorably, Rev. Audette’s installation as our settled minister. The participation, support, and blessings of clergy from other Cheyenne churches and across the district highlighted the significance of this moment. What a delightful event. During that brief service there were moments of laughter, reverence, sadness, connection, anticipation, and joy. The service engaged my heart, imagination, memory, intellect, and spirit. It reflected our unique identity as a congregation and Rev. Audette’s unique qualities as an individual and minister. Her ministry is now formally bound to ours. We look forward together.
During Revs. Bob and Makanah’s visit they facilitated Part II of the board retreat, where the board and Rev. Audette got down to the business of creating a timeline for projects and goals. To be honest, the time line is several pieces of newsprint full of sticky notes that is still in the trunk of my car. Tomorrow I will begin to transcribe the jottings made on sticky notes and translate them to agenda items for future board meetings and church conversations. Stay tuned for more specifics.
Here is one of many images swirling about in my mind after our busy installation and board retreat weekend. First, there is the image of meeting with the caterer in the social hall, who says, “how wonderful you have a carpeted basketball court, how amazing is that?” I see the large, empty space that welcomes bouncing balls and playful shouts through her eyes. The next morning I see that basketball court transformed: now we gather after a service where I felt engaged and interested in connecting with those who had heard the same service, the same stories, and the same call to engage in relationship with one another. Later, that same room is transformed into a space for celebration with UU pumpkins lovingly carved and adorned with sparkly glass. Then, the same room is full of people from our church, other churches, and from across the district to celebrate a most special occasion in our church life. The opening, later in the day, of the time capsule full of treasure from our roots: poems, search packets, letters to the editor, pictures, plans to transform the LDS church to a UU church home, orders of service, wedding pictures. Then, dwindling numbers of people as the day wound down, leftover food, crumbs, dirty dishes, and some folks who stayed until the last table was put away, the last chair folded, the last crumb vacuumed. Finally, the quiet space once again a basketball court with orange carpet, quiet, having held the laughter and memories of today’s celebration. This building, this religious tradition, this community holds us. There are so many hands that work to transform this space day after day to hold us in community, to hold us in our joy, to hold us in our transitions, to hold us in our sorrows, to celebrate, to remember, to work, to serve, and to love together. We, too, are always transforming with the help of our visions, our hearts, and our hands.
Recently I have noticed a growing buzz of energy that seems to grow louder each Sunday morning as we gather for worship, greet one another and sing together.
Lea Grubbs, UUCC Board President