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Dear Ones,

Greetings from Nova Scotia in the middle of “The Absence Years.” It may seem to you, in these two years into which I have divided 6 months of sabbatical time, that I have dropped forever below the horizon when the usual vacation and study time come into play. But I am with you more than you know: weighing in on decisions by email and phone; texting support to the denizens of hospital rooms and waiting rooms; exchanging resources, questions and answers with our staff; tracking and remarking on your lives as witnessed by Facebook; gleefully receiving your greetings on my birthday; navigating the weird landscape of my dreams with you. Believe me, you are always a planet rising over that same horizon!

Linda and I have spent nearly a month of work and play steps from the water of this fresh water lake outside of Bridgewater, about 26 km from the interesting little town of Lunenburg on the Atlantic coast of this incredibly beautiful Canadian province. We took about four days to explore Cape Breton, but mostly we’ve just gotten to know this area pretty well, met some damn handsome oxen, got hooked on oatcakes and loon calls, learned what donair sauce is and how to avoid it, swam in some kind of water most days (sometimes tea-colored from tannins), and worked for part of every day on creating a calendar and storing up content for the congregational year that begins soon.

Barring an urgent need, we’ll be sleeping in our Stony Brook beds on Monday, August 4th, and I will begin showing up again in the Emma Clark library, guiding the rubber to the road of our 2019-20 ministry. Please join me for services on August 18 and 25, great opportunities to invite adult friends who are curious about UUism. AND DO NOT MISS Homecoming, September 8th, you know —special clothing, congregational photo, AIR communion, barbecue picnic! Look elsewhere in this newsletter for details and Save-the-Dates for the Belonging series (our orientation to UUism and UUFSB) and our four-service Vespers season! Meanwhile, please make the most of your August sun and fun, and if you don’t have any beautiful oxen near you, I am sorry!

Stay cool! I’ll see you soon!