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Dear Ones,

Back together we are, comrades! I seem to have made a pretty smooth re-entry into the field of your continuing competence and have just completed the rigorous gauntlet that awaited me: the Belonging series—New Member Sunday—Vespers—Passover Seder—and Easter Sunday! Whew! The feedback I hear is that Sundays were different and nourishing in my absence, pastoral care mischief was well managed, the recommendations of the Organizational Restructuring Committee were about to be revealed, and a bunch of lovely newcomers I had never met were all lined up for the adventure of Belonging! That said, please let me know if you noticed anything you or others felt unprepared to handle during my absence. We have another go at seamlessness next year when I take my second leg of sabbatical, March-May 2020.

And now let me deliver a Big Thank You to you for your financial support of various projects that were undertaken while I was away, including the clean-up and redesign of my office! Sara Lutterbie, husband John, and daughter Julia led the team that de-moused the house, repainted and carpeted, reappointed and arranged my space to make it more cozy and welcoming for pastoral conversations and small meetings. There’s a little sitting area at the back of the room now and a much smaller desk that should be sufficient for the lap-topping ministers of future years. I will also now be able to store items we use only occasionally (like Vespers supplies, Homecoming photos, the UUFSB banner and poles, Christmas candles and bobeches, our growing collection of protest signs, and the newsprint and easel) elsewhere in the building. I am so grateful to you all for your generosity and support!

I’ll be looking for a tall light-colored wood storage cabinet to help contain and organize the stuff we do use weekly or often. If you have a nice one you’d like to donate, or see one when you are out and about, let me know! Here’s a fancy example. Soon the pictures will be up on the walls, the prayer flags resuspended, the needful stored away, and a bit of color added to the sitting area floor. Come visit and admire!

I’m still looking for some partners in the adventure of observing the Ramadan fast. I’ll be preaching about the spiritual practice of fasting on the first Sunday in May. Ramadan is expected to begin that evening when the slim crescent of the new moon appears. Join me in the experience of fasting from food and water during daylight hours for a month! Let your body feel the pulse of Islam. Let your heart embrace the wisdom of another faith. Enjoy some traditional Ramadan foods. Learn a little Arabic! This is how peace is made! Linda and I will be sharing a photo-journal about our Civil Rights Trail sabbatical trip after that Sunday service as well. Come see what we saw!